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WASHINGTON -- Is it possible the election will be up in the air and we won't have a president on Inauguration Day: Jan. 20, 2021?

Even if the election is messy and contested in court, the country will have a president on Inauguration Day. The Constitution and federal law ensure it. Here's what happens after voters go to the polls on Nov.


First, states have more than a month to count ballots, including the expected surge of mail-in ballots, and conduct recounts if necessary. But states' electoral votes have to be cast on Dec. 14.

Courts will be mindful of that in refereeing any disputes. During the 2000 election, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ended Florida's vote recount, saying time had run out before electors were set to meet.

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del.

When the electors meet, the candidate who gets at least 270 of the 538 electoral votes wins. But what happens if election issues still prevent a winner from being named? The Constitution has an answer.

The 12th Amendment says that in that case, the House of Representatives elects the president and the Senate elects the vice president. The new Congress that enters in January is the one tasked with carrying out the so-called "contingent election." The president has only been selected this way once, in 1825. The winner was John Quincy Adams.

In a contingent election, House members have to choose among the three people with the most electoral votes. Each state delegation gets one vote, and 26 votes are required to win. In the Senate, the choice is between the top two electoral vote-getters and each senator gets a vote, with 51 votes required to win.

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Watch President Donald Trump's full speech at the White House for the RNC.

What if that fails and the House hasn't elected a president by Inauguration Day? Then the 20th Amendment takes over. It says the vice president-elect acts as president until a president is picked. And if there's no vice president selected by Inauguration Day?

Well, then the Presidential Succession Act applies.

It says that the speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate president or a Cabinet officer, in that order, would act as president until there's a president or vice president.

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Tags: politics politics election day government joe biden 2020 presidential election president donald trump inauguration day vice president electoral vote a president

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Chelsea face Champions League group of death draw with Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Rennes possible opponents

CHELSEA could be handed a nightmare ‘group of death’ when the Champions League draw is made tomorrow.

Frank Lampard’s side are with Man Utd and Man City in Pot 2 while Premier League champions Liverpool fill out the English contingent in the top group.

And that is precisely where the Blues will be looking to avoid one team in particular.

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Chelsea have good memories of beating Bayern Munich on their own turf to lift the European title in 2012.

But surely no one would fancy taking on the reigning champs in their current rampant form.

The 8-2 demolition job of Barcelona – over one leg, remember – in the summer is still fresh in everyone’s memory.

And though that came against a club in crisis, the threat Robert Lewandowski – surely robbed of the Ballon d’Or this year – and Thomas Muller perpetually pose makes them the ones to avoid.

Further down, another German outfit RB Leipzig – the former team of current Chelsea forward Timo Werner – could prove difficult.

And below them again in the bottom pot lie current Ligue 1 leaders Rennes.

The French team’s ex-goalkeeper Edouard Mendy recently joined Lampard’s side so he should know how to handle them.

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Saying that though, Rennes have started off unbeaten this season with four wins from five games and 12 goals scored already.

This season will test teams’ fitness levels and squad depth like never before.

So it’s a good job Lampard has been so busy this summer, signing seven players in all.

The Champions League does not start until October 20 as a result of the pandemic and delayed season starts across Europe.

But teams are set to have to play six fiercely competitive European ties during the most congested season in history – possibly complicating their Premier League ambitions as well.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard reveals Timo Werner didn’t take penalty against Spurs due to cramp as fitness worry creeps in
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