In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, America is witnessing a historical election movement, and reportedly, about 98 million Americans have cast the early vote. Not only the Americans but people around the world are also concerned about the US presidential election as it’s the most extensively watched electoral contest anywhere.
The 2020 US presidential election is being conducted today, November 3, 2020; this will be the 59th quadrennial presidential voting. The voters will select the presidential electors to either designate a new president and vice president or re-elect the appointees Donald Trump and Mike Pence, correspondingly.
This voting process is an indirect election where voters cast ballots by selecting a schedule of different representatives to a political party’s nominating settlement. Then, the representative elects their party candidates for President. The two prominent party candidates this year are Republican incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic former vice president Joe Biden.
Without any strong opposition, Trump secured the Republican nomination, along with vice president Pence. Former vice president Joe Biden held the Democratic nomination over his adjoining contender, Senator Bernie Sanders, who formally ended his campaign in April.
The whole world is going through a pandemic situation, and the US is one of the most affected countries in terms of COVID-19 cases. Therefore, keeping in mind the condition of COVID-19 and its outcomes, the US Election Project asked voters to vote via mail ballots for the early voting process to avoid queues, of course. The different states will stop voting at different times, and the first polls close at 9 pm (local time) on November 3rd.
Well, there is comparative clarity about the significance of this election for India. The Indian American community has also had a role to play. Incumbent President Trump faces Joe Biden, the former vice president, as opposing candidate in the polls. Consecutively, in numerous interviews, both have stated that they wish for strong relations with India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also has a good experience of working with both the Democrats, Barack Obama, and the Republicans under the existing Trump government. Undeniably, the US is India’s single-most vital external association right now, not just in terms of security and defence but also in terms of the international collaborations as well as finance segments.
Another reason why the US election is so important for India is that Trump has suspended the H1B visa program by extending the backlog of green card for Indians. On the other hand, Biden will resuscitate the H1 quota according to business needs, as per the reports.
Richard Rossow, a senior advisor who holds the Wadhwani Chair at US-India Policy Studies, stated, “This election will certainly impact US-India ties. Some areas will be pretty stable no matter the outcome. Notably, defence relations. I believe a Biden administration will reaffirm cooperation in areas like climate change and be more supportive of skilled immigration, but also be tougher on India related to issues of religious tolerance.”
About 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House. On December 14, State Electors will cast their ballots, the candidate with 270 or more votes wins. Inauguration day is January 20, 2021.