Why the US waits so long to swear in the new president

Does it really have to take two and a half months?

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American law specifies that the US presidential election happens in early November. It also specifies that the winner of that election isn’t actually sworn in until January 20th. That leaves about two and a half months in between, where, in situations where the incumbent has been voted out, the winner of the election still isn’t president. This is the “transition” period, during which the old administration trades places with the new one.

But does that period really need to be so long? In 2020, we found out what happens when an incumbent president loses reelection, but refuses to concede: Among other things, it pushes the start of the transition several weeks later, shortening that handover period. So does that matter? What actually happens in those two and a half months, and why do we let the loser continue to wield power for so long?

Read more about the US presidential transition from Vox reporter Jen Kirby: https://www.vox.com/2020/11/23/21611906/biden-transition-gsa-trump-emily-murphy-acertain

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