What is America? Now, about a week after the presidential election, the question is as relevant as ever. What is America? And what is America all about? Over the weekend, I chatted with friends, family, and clients from Europe who all asked me basically the same questions. I honestly didn’t know how to answer their questions. I am not able to do it today either, because America is a fascinating multi-faceted country. The second most question that I was asked was “why is the election so complicated?” Unlike the last question, I do believe that I have an answer. America is called the United States of America for a reason because it is a country consisting of 50 states uniting together to make one country.
There are 50 different states, and each one of those 50 states makes its own election laws. My German friends then say “don’t you have a federal election law?” The answer is not really. There are federal rules and principles guiding the election. This comes from the constitution, but how it is done on a state by state level is defined by the state law. The state law of North Carolina differs from the State law of South Carolina. Some states decide that each municipality within the state can define its own election laws. In North Carolina, the state legislature decided that any ballot that was mailed and stamped by November 3rd and received by the 12th would be counted.
So for my friends in Europe, don’t ask when North Carolina’s counting will be finished, we are still able to count the votes, however, state law gives us the opportunity to count until the 12th of November. So in a nutshell, America is a multi-faceted country and it is true for so many businesses as well. Business laws differ between states, but overall we are the United States of America.