US Elections 2020: How American Presidential elections are different compared to other countries
New Delhi | Piyush Aggarwal/ Anurag Mishra: The whole world is closely watching the 2020 US Presidential elections results as the votes are still counted. Everyone is glued to their screens to know who will be the next President of the United States of America. Interestingly, this time, voters have also voted overwhelmingly in this election and have broken the previous voting record of the last 120 years with voter turnout being 66.9 per cent.
There are a few democratic countries globally, including India and America, where voters vote on such a large scale to elect their leaders. In the US, Donald Trump is trying his luck again from the Republican Party. At the same time, Joe Biden who is the former Vice President is contesting on behalf of the Democratic Party, along with Kamala Harris as his running mate for the Vice President. This year, due to the raging COVID19 pandemic, many states had made changes in voting rules. For the first time, millions of people were allowed to vote by mail to avoid standing in lines, however, at the same time, many people also voted in person on election day i.e. the 3rd of November.
According to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 910.5 million voters were registered in the 2019 general elections in India. The number of Indians registered to vote is close to three times the size of the entire American population. In 2019, during the general elections, voting in India lasted over six weeks. However, at the same time, 192.9 million people were registered to vote in the last elections held in Indonesia, while in the US, this number is around 214 million. In terms of scale, being the largest democracy in the world, general elections in India are the biggest in the world. Like India, the electoral process in Indonesia is quite large with around 809,500 polling stations. However, the election process was completed in a single day. Similarly, Brazil's election was concluded in two rounds and is followed by Indonesia in terms of size. In the elections held in October 2018, close to 147 million voters were registered. Jair Bolsonaro was elected as the President in the Brazilian elections.
2020 Presidential elections have broken the voting record of the last 120 years. Usually, 50 to 60 per cent of voters cast their vote in the US elections. However, this year a record number of around 160 million voters voted and made history. According to the American Election Project, this time, around 66.9 per cent of the voters voted. The highest voter turnout was in 1900 before 2020 when 73.7 per cent of the people voted and elected William McKinley as their president in 1900. After this, the polling figure did not exceed 65.7 per cent.
In the US, merely getting the maximum votes doesn't make you the President, but one needs to win the minimum 270 electoral votes. It has happened twice recently. Republican candidate George W. Bush won the presidential election in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016, despite falling behind in the popular vote count. Donald Trump received nearly 2.9 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma