Some states, for instance, require a candidate to obtain a sure share of the vote to get elected. If a candidate does not attain that threshold, the state holds a runoff election at a later date between the highest two vote-getters or makes use of a ranked-choice system.

These rules, amongst different doable eventualities, imply that management of the US Senate might not be clear till months after Election Day.

In Georgia, if no native or statewide candidate receives 50% +1 vote on November 3, 2020, the highest two vote-getters face off in a December 1, 2020, runoff election. If no federal candidate receives 50% +1 vote on November 3, 2020, the highest two vote-getters advance to a January 5, 2021, runoff. This requirement additionally applies to the particular Senate election, which is being run as an open election with all candidates on the identical poll, no matter get together. It doesn’t apply to presidential races.


All candidates in Louisiana are elected by majority vote. If no candidate receives 50% +1 on the open main/congressional main on November 3, 2020, the highest two, no matter get together, will transfer on to the December 5, 2020, open normal/congressional normal election. This threshold doesn’t apply to presidential races.


Presidential, Senate and US Home races in Maine are carried out utilizing ranked-choice voting, which implies voters can rank candidates so as of desire. If a candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, that individual is asserted the winner. But when no candidate has a majority, the ranked selection course of begins.

In every spherical, the candidate with the fewest votes is disqualified, and the votes from the individual’s supporters are redistributed primarily based on who they put as their second selection. This course of continues till solely two candidates stay, and the candidate with probably the most votes is asserted the winner.

Maine can also be certainly one of two states within the nation that doesn’t have a winner-take-all system for his or her Electoral Faculty votes. That signifies that even when a candidate does not win the statewide common vote in these states, they might choose up one or two Electoral Faculty votes in the event that they win in congressional districts. Nebraska is the one different state that doesn’t have a winner-take-all system.


If no candidate for governor, lieutenant governor and treasurer receives a 50% + 1 majority on November 3, 2020, the race will get determined by the state legislature. Every state legislator and every state consultant solid one vote. Democrats presently maintain a decisive lead within the state legislature.

Senate Additional time

There are a number of eventualities during which management of the US Senate might not be recognized for months. Georgia and Louisiana each have Senate races that may very well be impacted by runoff legal guidelines. A recount might go away a seat open for months, like after the 2008 election, when Al Franken wasn’t sworn in till July 2009.

Moreover, a 50-50 tie within the Senate might imply that management of the physique would hinge on who the vp is. Relying on the end result of the presidential election, the vp could change on Inauguration Day (January 20). If members of the brand new administration come from the Senate — for instance, Sen. Kamala Harris of California changing into Vice President — it might change the chamber’s make-up whereas alternative members are appointed or elected.

MeSlop’s Adam Levy, Liz Stark and Ethan Cohen contributed to this report.