Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States
This election demonstrated the importance of independent, fact-based journalism for a functioning democracy. Help us deliver the high quality news, data, and information you need.
How does the election work?
The election winner is determined by a system known as an electoral college. Each of the 50 states plus Washington DC receives a number of votes for the electoral college for a total of 538 votes. More populous states get more votes for the electoral college than smaller ones.
A candidate must win 270 electoral college votes (50% plus one) to win the election.
In every state but two – Maine and Nebraska – the candidate who receives the most votes wins all of the state’s electoral college votes.
Because of these rules, a candidate can win the election without getting the most votes at the national level. This happened in the last election when Donald Trump won a majority of the electoral college’s vote, even though more people in the US voted for Hillary Clinton.
How are the results reported?
The election results on this page are reported by the Associated Press (AP). AP “calls” the winner in a state where it determines that the next candidate has no way to win. This can be done before 100% of the votes in a state have been counted.
Estimates for the total vote in each state are also provided by AP. The numbers will be updated during election night as more voter turnout data becomes available.
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