The 2020 US election is less than 30 days away, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown many aspects of the race into uncertainty.
The big question is how the election will be affected by Donald Trump being taken to hospital with coronavirus. The president’s health will be carefully monitored in the next few days and should he become seriously ill it could significantly impact the election.
His positive result has already triggered a wave of speculation for what could happen to the US government, the US election, the handling of the pandemic and more.
The virus has already dramatically affected the running of the election.
The Republican and Democratic conventions were unlike any other – with both parties avoiding the usual jamborees filled with thousands of supporters, party officials and reporters from across the globe.
It is also unclear what election day itself will look like, given the risk of catching the virus by voting in person.
A record number of people are expected to vote before November 3 by opting for postal votes. Election experts suggest this could mean the result may not be declared on election night, but may take several days – or even weeks – to emerge.
With the coronavirus pandemic expected to impact public life well into the autumn, the 2020 election is likely to go down in history as one of the most unconventional US presidential races ever held.
Despite the uncertainty, there are some aspects of the election process that are enshrined in the US constitution. Here is everything we know about how the race will play out.
What date is the 2020 US election and can Trump postpone it?
The election will be held on Tuesday, November 3.
Donald Trump has already floated delaying it, in a tweet which suggested the rule changes making it easier for voters to use postal ballots in many states could lead to a “rigged election”.
Mr Trump has argued that, despite using it himself in the past, mail-in voting is more open to fraud. Most election experts have questioned whether it is possible for postal voting to lead to widespread fraud, as Mr Trump claims, but have pointed out that an anticipated rise in postal voting could cause problems.
The election date is not written into the US Constitution, so a delay is technically possible, but the Constitution does outline a date for the newly-elected president’s inauguration in January.
However, the power to change the election date lies with the US Congress, and the Democrats hold the majority in one chamber, the House of Representatives, making it extremely unlikely a delay would be approved.
How to vote in every state
COVID-19 is changing the way we’ll cast our ballots this year, with many searching for absentee options. Here’s CBS News’ look at voting across the U.S. – America decides: States and dates. Use the dropdown menu below to jump to your state’s voting rules.
Concern about the coronavirus has spawned a rapid expansion in mail-in voting this year — about a third of voters across the country say they want to vote by mail or absentee this year, according to CBS News polling. That would be a larger proportion of Americans voting this way than in any past presidential election.
Several states already have mail-in voting in place, and this year many others are making it easier for Americans to vote without going to the polls, despite President Trump’s vehement opposition to mail-in balloting. Each state has its own laws governing how and where voters can cast ballots; here’s a look at mail-in voting across the U.S. in 2020, showing which states have expanded absentee voting because of the coronavirus; which ones have mailed ballots, rather than applications, to voters; which states don’t require an excuse to vote absentee this year — and which ones do. ;