In the United States, the winner of a presidential election is determined not by a national vote but through a system called the Electoral College, which allots “electoral votes” to all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their population.
How does the Electoral College work?
Hillary Clinton and US President Donald Trump. (AFP)
Technically, Americans cast votes for electors, not the candidates themselves. Electors are typically party loyalists who pledge to support the candidate who gets the most votes in their state. Each elector represents one vote in the Electoral College.
The Electoral College was a compromise between the nation's founders, who fiercely debated whether the president should be picked by Congress or through a popular vote.
All but two states use a winner-take-all approach: The candidate that wins the most votes in that state gets all of its electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska use a more complex district-based allocation system that could result in their combined nine electoral votes being split between Trump and Biden.
Can electors go rogue?
When do the electors' votes have to be certified by?
What if officials in a particular state can't agree on who won?
What if a candidate doesn't get 270 votes?
Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the US House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 2019 Washington AFP