Kamala Harris has made history by becoming the first female vice-president-elect.
The California senator will also be the first black and the first Asian American vice-president.
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents – an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.
After her parents’ divorce, Kamala Harris was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist.
She grew up engaged with her Indian heritage, joining her mother on visits to India, but Kamala Harris has said that her mother adopted Oakland’s black culture, immersing her two daughters – Kamala and her younger sister Maya – within it.
Her early years also included a brief period in Canada. When her mother took a job teaching at McGill University, Kamala and her younger sister Maya went with her, attending school in Montreal for five years.
She attended college in the US, spending four years at Howard University, one of the nation’s preeminent historically black colleges and universities, which she has described as among the most formative experiences of her life.
Kamala Harris, 55, says she’s always been comfortable with her identity and simply describes herself as “an American”.
In 2014, she married lawyer Doug Emhoff – now a fixture at her campaign stops – and became stepmother to his two children.
After four years at Howard, Kamala Harris went on to earn her law degree at the University of California, Hastings, and began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
She became the district attorney – the top prosecutor – for San Francisco in 2003, before being elected the first woman and the first black person to serve as California’s attorney general, the top lawyer and law enforcement official in America’s most populous state.
In her nearly two terms in office as attorney general, Kamala Harris gained a reputation as one of the Democratic Party’s rising stars, using this momentum to propel her election as California’s junior US senator in 2017.
The 2020 election has seen the highest turnout since 1900. Joe Biden has won more than 74 million votes so far, the most ever for a US presidential candidate. Donald Trump has drawn more than 70 million, the second-highest tally in history.
DonaldTrump had falsely declared himself the winner of the election when vote counting was unfinished. He has since alleged irregularities in counting, but has not presented any evidence of election fraud.
The Trump campaign has filed a barrage of lawsuits in various states and on November 6, as Joe Biden appeared on the cusp of victory, said: “This election is not over.”
The election was fought as coronavirus cases and deaths continued to rise across the United States, with President Trump arguing a Biden presidency would result in lockdowns and economic gloom. Joe Biden accused Donald Trump of failing to impose sufficient measures to control the spread of Covid-19.
Joe Biden is now set to return to the White House, where he served for eight years as President Barack Obama’s deputy.
At the age of 78, Joe Biden will be the oldest president in American history.
Usually the losing candidate concedes but Donald Trump has vowed to contest the election results on several fronts.
Responding to the Pennsylvania results, the Trump campaign put out a statement saying: “This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final.”
A recount will be held in Georgia, where the margins are tight, and Donald Trump wants the same in Wisconsin. He has also vowed to take legal action to the Supreme Court, alleging voting fraud without evidence.
If the election result is challenged, it would require legal teams to challenge this in the state courts. State judges would then need to uphold the challenge and order a recount, and Supreme Court justices could then be asked to overturn a ruling.
Meanwhile, votes in some states are continuing to be counted and results are never official until final certification, which occurs in each state in the weeks following the election.
This must be done before 538 electors from the Electoral College – which officially decides who wins the election – meet in their state capitals to vote on December 14.
The electors’ votes usually mirror the popular vote in each state. However, in some states this is not a formal requirement.
The new president is officially sworn into office on January 20 after a transition period to give them time to appoint cabinet ministers and make plans.
The handover of power takes place at a ceremony known as the inauguration, which is held on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC.
After the ceremony, the new president makes their way to the White House to begin their four-year term in office.
Joe Biden ran for the White House twice before.
In 1988, he withdrew from the race after he admitted to plagiarizing a speech by the then leader of the British Labor Party, Neil Kinnock.
In 2008, he tried again to get the Democratic nomination before dropping out and joining Barack Obama’s ticket.
Joe Biden’s eight years as vice-president allowed him to lay claim to much of Barrack Obama’s legacy, including passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare.
Joe Biden’s campaign team has issued a scathing response after President Donald Trump amplified a conspiracy theory about Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris.
President Trump said he had “heard” that Kamala Harris – a US-born citizen whose parents were immigrants – “doesn’t qualify” to serve as vice-president.
The fringe theory has been dismissed by constitutional experts.
The Biden campaign called the comments “abhorrent” and “pathetic”.
They noted that President Trump spent years promoting a false “birther” theory that ex-President Barack Obama was not born in the US.
On August 11, Kamala Harris, a senator from California, became the first black woman and the first Asian-American to be named as a running mate on a main-party presidential ticket.
A Biden campaign spokesman said in an email: “Donald Trump was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama and has sought to fuel racism and tear our nation apart on every single day of his presidency.
“So it’s unsurprising, but no less abhorrent, that as Trump makes a fool of himself straining to distract the American people from the horrific toll of his failed coronavirus response that his campaign and their allies would resort to wretched, demonstrably false lies in their pathetic desperation.”
Kamala Harris was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother in Oakland, California, on October 20, 1964. As such, she is eligible to serve as president or vice-president.
Constitutional scholars have dismissed the fringe legal theory that President Trump was referring to.
To be vice-president or president, Kamala Harris “has to be a natural-born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a resident in the United States for at least 14 years”, Juliet Sorensen, a law professor at Northwestern University, told the Associated Press.
“She is. That’s really the end of the inquiry.”
Anyone born in the US and subject to its jurisdiction is a natural born citizen, regardless of the citizenship of their parents, says the Cornell Legal Information Institute.
After a conservative law professor questioned Kamala Harris’ eligibility based on her parents’ immigration status at the time of her birth, President Trump was asked about the argument at a press conference on August 13.
President Trump said: “I just heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements and by the way the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.
“I have no idea if that’s right. I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice-president.
“But that’s a very serious, you’re saying that, they’re saying that she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country.”
The reporter replied there was no question that Kamala Harris was born in the US, simply that her parents might not have been permanent US residents at the time.
Kamala Harris has been named as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate.
The California senator of Indian-Jamaican heritage is the first black woman and South Asian American in the role.
Once a rival for the top job, Kamala Harris had long been considered the front-runner for the vice-president.
The former California attorney general has been urging police reform amid nationwide anti-racism protests.
Joe Biden will face President Donald Trump in the election on November 3.
After August 11 announcement, Kamala Harris tweeted that Joe Biden “can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals”.
“I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”
On August 12, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on “working together to restore the soul of the nation and fight for working families to move the country forward”, the Biden campaign said.
At a White House news conference on August 11, President Donald Trump, a Republican, said he was pleased with Joe Biden’s choice, adding that Kamala Harris did “very, very poorly” in her effort to become the Democratic nominee.
Kamala Harris will take part in a debate with President Trump’s running mate, Vice-President Mike Pence, on October 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In last year’s race to be the Democratic nominee, Kamala Harris showed herself to be a forceful speaker, launching blistering attacks on Donald Trump.
The role of a vice-presidential running mate isn’t always clearly defined.
One of the traditional roles is to go on the offensive in exposing the opposition’s weaknesses, while the presidential nominee focuses on communicating the party’s message.
Constitutionally, the vice-president steps in to the top job should the president die or leave office during his or her term.
Joe Biden will turn 78 in November, meaning should he be elected he will be the oldest US president in history (Ronald Reagan was 77 when he left office).
His age means Joe Biden’s vice-presidential choice may come under extra scrutiny.
Kamala Harris, 55, dropped out of the presidential race in December after failing to make headway in her bid to win the Democratic nomination.
She repeatedly clashed with Joe Biden during the primary election debates, most notably criticizing his praise for the “civil” working relationship he had with former senators who favored racial segregation.
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents: an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.
She went on to attend Howard University, one of the nation’s preeminent historically black colleges and universities. She has described her time there as among the most formative experiences of her life.
Kamala Harris says she’s always been comfortable with her identity and simply describes herself as “an American”.
Only two other women have been nominated as vice-presidential candidates for a major party – Sarah Palin by the Republican party in 2008 and Geraldine Ferraro by the Democrats in 1984. Neither were on the winning ticket.
A woman of color has never been appointed to a presidential ticket by either of the two main American political parties. No woman has won the US presidency either.
Joe Biden tweeted that he had “the great honor” to name Kamala Harris as his number two.
He described her as “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants”.
Joe Biden pledged in March to name a woman on the ticket. He had faced mounting calls to pick a black woman in recent months as the nation has been convulsed by social unrest over police brutality against African Americans, a key voting bloc for the Democratic Party.
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