US Election 2020 Calendar: With less than 40 days to go before the US Presidential election, President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden have aggressively ramped up efforts to reach out to as many voters as they can before polling day.
President Trump and former Vice President Biden are set to go head-to-head in a total of three debates over the next few weeks, the first of which is on Tuesday. The three televised events are likely to be the only times the two candidates will share a stage before election day on November 3.
The two Vice Presidential candidates — current Vice President Mike Pence and Biden’s running mate Senator Kamala Harris — will also face off in a debate slated early next month.
September 29: First presidential debate in Ohio
The first presidential debate between Trump and Biden will take place on September 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The 90-minute debate will be moderated by Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace and will have no commercial breaks.
The entire event will be divided into 15-minute mini segments, each of which will focus on one of six key topics — the candidates’ records, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, race and violence, and finally, the integrity of the election.
October 7: Vice presidential debate in Utah
Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris and Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence are to face each other in the sole vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 7.
The debate will be hosted at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah and will be moderated by USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page. According to a report by The New York Times, nine topics will be discussed by the candidates, each of which will get around 10 minutes.
October 15: Second presidential debate in Florida
The second debate between the two presidential candidates will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, on October 15. The event will be moderated by Steve Scully, the political editor at C-Span.
The town-hall style event was earlier supposed to be held at the University of Michigan, but the university later cancelled it over health and safety concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The debate will take place before an audience of undecided voters from South Florida, the NYT reported. Audience members will be able to pose questions to the candidates.
While Biden and Trump will have two minutes to answer each question, Scully will have one extra minute per question for follow-ups. The topics to be covered during the debate will be announced one week before the event.
October 22: Final presidential debate in Tennessee
The third and final presidential debate is scheduled to take place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22. The 90-minute event will be hosted by NBC News’ White House correspondent Kristen Welker.
Welker is the second black woman, after broadcast journalist Carole Simpson, to be the sole moderator of a presidential debate in the United States. Like the first debate, this one too will be divided into 15-minute segments.
The candidates will have to cover six topics, which will be announced a week before the debate.
November 3: Election Day
On Tuesday, November 3, American voters will finally get to decide who will be their next President. A record number of US citizens are likely to opt for mail-in ballots due to the huge Covid-19 risk involved with waiting in serpentine queues to vote in-person.
However, over the last few weeks, Trump has repeatedly threatened to withhold funding from the postal service to limit voting by mail, arguing that the method increases the likelihood of voter fraud. This claim has been widely refuted by experts.
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As a large number of people are expected to cast their votes before November 3, election experts suggest that this could mean the results will not be announced on election night and may instead take a few days to emerge.
January 20: Inauguration Day
The US will welcome its new commander-in-chief on January 20, next year. The President-elect and the Vice President-elect will take the oath of office, which will be followed by an inaugural address.
After being sworn in, the President attends a ceremonial parade from the US Capitol to his new residence — White House.
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