What does president-elect mean?

It was, finally, confirmed on Saturday, November 7 that Joe Biden had won the 2020 US election – meaning that he will be the 46th US President.

Biden, who swept to victory after his win in Pennsylvania pushed him past the 270 electoral college votes needed to win, said in a statement he would be ‘a President for all Americans’.

‘America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,’ he said.

‘The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. ‘I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.’

For now though, he holds the title of President-elect, but just what does that mean?

What does President-elect mean?

President-elect. is the title given to a person who has conclusively won the US election but has yet to take officer as President.

Although the US Election is always held in November, the winner does not actually take office until the following January.

During this time their only constitutional provision which applies to them is their availability to take office.

The period of the winner being President-elect also serves as a transition period for them to prepare to become President, and works with the outgoing president (known as a ‘lame duck’) to ensure the handover goes smoothly.

Incumbent President who win a second term in office are not normally referred to a President-elect.

If the president dies while in office, or resigns or is removed from office for some reason, the vice-president is not referred to as president-elect as they would immediately assume the office of president.

However they would be referred to by this term if they are voted President in the US election while they are serving as vice-president.

When is the Presidential inauguration?

Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the new US President on January 20 2021.

Inauguration Day marks the swearing in of the newly elected President and will take place even if there isn’t a ‘new’ president and the incumbent is sitting their second term.  

The inauguration has fallen on the same day for over 70 years.

MORE : Chrissy Teigen and John Legend drive through West Hollywood to celebrate Joe Biden’s US election win: ‘Best moment of my life’

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US election 2020

Follow our US election live blog for the latest news and updates on the 2020 election.

  • People dancing in the streets across US as Joe Bidens wins election
  • Joe Biden says he’ll be ‘President for all Americans’ after winning election
  • Biden, 77, becomes oldest person ever to be elected as US President

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