The right to vote is an integral element to the United States electoral system. With the 2020 Presidential election rapidly approaching, it is imperative to follow along if you plan on participating. Throughout the next year, there will be many important dates and events to remember in order for you to exercise your right to vote. Passionate support for a candidate is well and good, but making an informed decision on who you vote for is important on guiding the direction of your town, county, state, and country.
We have aggregated major 2020 campaign dates to ensure that you to stay updated during the election season.
While the elections aren’t until November 2020, the campaign trail starts in 2019. The Democratic Party has already held two debates, and there are plans for additional debates before the end of the year.
At the time of writing this post, the Republican Party has not scheduled any debates.
Democratic Debate Schedule
- June 26-27
- July 30-31
- September 12
- October 15
- November 20
- December: TBA
Candidates addressed a variety of topics and their involvement from Medicare for All, environmental dangers, and geopolitical issues. NBC hosted the debates on their networks.¹
Candidates addressed healthcare and immigration primarily. CNN hosted the debates.²
Candidates primarily debated over healthcare. However, they also touched on foreign relations and pulling forces out of Afghanistan. ABC and Univision aired the most recent Democratic debate.4
The 12 qualifying candidates discussed a wide range of topics including the impeachment inquiry, foreign policy, and job loss due to automation. CNN and The New York Times hosted the debate.5
The next 2019 Democratic Debate will be held on November 20th and will be hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.6
Most of the election cycle will take place over the course of 2020. From February until November, candidates will campaign across the country in bids to gain traction over their opponents.
The first part of the season, and by far the largest, will be the states holding primaries or caucuses.
Primary or Caucus?
What is the difference between primaries and caucuses? The difference between the two can be confusing as they accomplish the same goal; they determine which candidates will run for the presidency.
Caucuses are localized meetings where registered voters gather to elect delegates who will attend conventions to elect political candidates. Typically, attendees may only attend caucuses that are held by their registered party.
Primaries are statewide voting processes that allow voters to directly choose their preferred candidate. Registered voters submit secret ballots for their chosen candidate which are then tallied. There are two types of primary; Open Primaries and Closed Primaries. In an open primary, an individual may cast a vote for any valid candidate no matter their registered party, and in a closed primary, votes may only be submitted for candidates within an individual’s party.³
Primary & Caucus Dates
The primaries and caucuses held across the country are scheduled ahead of time for voters to prepare and educate themselves on the potential candidates.
Click here for a full list of primary and caucus dates by state and territory.
Once the primaries and caucuses have ended, the Democratic and Republican parties will hold conventions. These conventions are held to announce the official presidential candidates from each party. The nominations will be announced here and the last few months of campaigning will begin.
- Democratic National Convention: July 13-16, 2020
- Republican National Convention: August 24-27, 2020
Election day is November 3rd, 2020. In order for you to exercise your right to vote, you will need to register. Each state has its own laws concerning registration deadlines, so be sure you check to see if you are registered or how to register with a site like Vote.org.
Also check to see if your state has early voting procedures or vote by mail options. Military service members and spouses have the option to participate in absentee voting if they are stationed away from their residence.
Find out where your closest polling station is and make sure it is within your precinct, and help others find your station with directional yard signs. You will be assigned a polling station based on your address, so you will need to go there in order to cast your ballot. If you go to a different station, you will not be listed and not allowed to vote.
Inauguration day for the 2020 elections is January 20, 2021. This will mark the start of the new or continued administration based on the results from the election.
We will update this post when new information becomes available.
Primary & Caucus Dates
NOTE: Many of these dates are still subject to change.
|Month||Date||State & Type|
|11th||New Hampshire primaries|
|22nd||Nevada Democratic caucuses|
|29th||South Carolina Democratic primary|
|American Samoa Democratic caucus|
|North Carolina primaries|
|Democrats Abroad primaries|
|8th||Puerto Rico Republican primary|
|10th||Hawaii Republican caucuses|
|North Dakota Democratic caucuses|
|12th||Virgin Islands Republican caucus|
|14th||District of Columbia Republican convention|
|Guam Republican caucus|
|Northern Marianas Democratic convention|
|Wyoming Republican conventions|
|17th||Arizona Democratic primary|
|Northern Marianas Republican convention|
|21st||Kentucky Republican caucuses|
|24th||American Samoa Republican caucus|
|29th||Puerto Rico Democratic primary|
|April||3rd-5th||North Dakota Republican state convention|
|4th||Alaska Democratic primary|
|Hawaii Democratic primary|
|Wyoming Democratic caucuses|
|New York primaries|
|Rhode Island primaries|
|May||2nd||Guam Democratic caucus|
|Kansas Democratic primary|
|West Virginia primaries|
|19th||Kentucky Democratic primary|
|June||2nd||District of Columbia Democratic primary|
|New Jersey primaries|
|New Mexico primaries|
|South Dakota primaries|
|6th||Virgin Islands Democratic caucuses|
|Cancelled||Alaska Republican conventions|
|Arizona Republican primary|
|Kansas Republican caucuses|
|Nevada Republican caucuses|
|South Carolina Republican primary|