Transition of Power 2020


Alex Whipkey, Editor

The next President of the United States has been decided, and it will be Joe Biden. The Trump administration appears to be attempting to delay the transfer of power (Trump still has not conceded despite the fact that the race was called several days ago), but Biden will step in on January 20 regardless. So, what has to be done between now and the inauguration?


It is not only the President and other elected politicians who have to switch when a new administration comes in – a country cannot be run by just a few people, after all. Thousands of offices are filled by new people, and the person who worked there before have to hand over their positions. Despite Trump’s attitude towards his successor, those workers will tend to be helpful to the new people sent to replace them.

The transition is overseen by nonpartisan officials, and both candidates are required by federal law to begin setting up transition teams no less than six months before the election. The Trump administration complied with the law and gave Biden’s team office space and logistics resources in September.


The reason the teams have to start preparing months before they even know who won is so that not one second of effective government is missed. The second the new president is inaugurated, the administration is meant to simply click into place and be able to govern to its fullest capacity from day one.


That is why a smooth transition is so monumentally important, especially this year. In the middle of the worst health crisis in a century, a recession, and a heavily unstable political climate, it is crucial that the next administration works properly from day one.