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5 questions Americans asked Google about the election this week


As we gear up for the Nov. 3 presidential election, Mashable is examining what we’re all looking up online.

We went directly to the source and asked Google what people in the U.S. are, well, Googling. Here were some of the top questions trending during the week between Sept. 24 and Oct. 1.

Quick refresher: The first presidential debate was on Sept. 29. 

1. What is the Insurrection Act?

I’d say let me Google that for you, but most of you already did. The Insurrection Act is an old federal law that lets the president deploy the National Guard to states during times of civil unrest. This came up during the summer because of ongoing protests calling out police violence and racism, especially toward Black people. At the debate this week, Trump brought up incorrect information about voter fraud and again wouldn’t promise to accept election results. This could lead to more unrest.

2. What is the salary of a Supreme Court justice?

Trump already brought in his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, to meet with Republican senators Thursday. Confirmation hearings are slated to start within two weeks. The president is rushing to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat after her death on Sept. 18. As Trump tries to get the highest court stacked with more conservative-leaning justices before the election, people are asking about the job description. An associate justice makes about $255,000 per year.

3. What is an executive order?

Trump issued an executive order on Wednesday which denounced imports of minerals from “foreign adversaries,” like barite from China. The EOs are federal directives that come directly from the president and don’t need to pass a vote. Barack Obama enacted dozens of orders on gun control after the Sandy Hook shooting after Congress didn’t pass any new legislation. 

4. How to claim stimulus check

Amid all the politics, there’s also a pandemic. Back in the spring and early summer, eligible taxpayers received stimulus checks up to $1,200 to offset the economic impact of shutdowns. Anyone with kids was supposed to receive an additional $500 per child. For many people who never got a check from the IRS for their kids, the deadline to file a claim to get those funds this year was Wednesday, Sept. 30. 

5. How to get a passport

It looks like people are prepping to leave the country if they don’t like the election results. Or maybe that “shitshow” of a debate prompted folks to consider moving abroad. 

Some websites this week were even sharing tips on how to get a second passport and foreign citizenship. Relatedly, after the debate U.S. searches for “how to apply for Canadian citizenship” spiked 140 percent.

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