What happens next? A breakdown of the Presidential Transition

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After the excitement of Election Day, comes a long stretch of waiting.

President-Elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on January 20 at noon, EST.

But what happens between now and then? We asked ABC News Political Director Rick Klein for some insight.

"There's no firm rulebook, a lot of the transition activities are formalities but traditionally speaking we would have a situation where a winner would be declared as likely by the General Service Administration," Klein said.

The General Service Administration or GSA, is a government agency. While it's technically non-partisan, it's run by whomever the President appoints.

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It was established in 1949 and helps manage and support the basic functions of other federal agencies.

"GSA is the one that controls the keys to the building and just allows the information processes and standards to happen," Klein said. "There's almost $10 million in taxpayer dollars that are set aside for particularly this purpose."

During the transition, the President-Elect often starts naming key members of their team. President-Elect Biden has already named Ron Klain as his Chief of Staff, but there are many positions to be filled.

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Most important - the members of Biden's cabinet - but they will require Senate confirmation.

"The government is not just the White House, it's not just the president. There were thousands of thousands of federal employees. There are thousands of positions that need to be filled," Klein said. "There's a lot of information that needs to get processed and you can't just become president on January 20 and induce on the job training to get you through."

That's why the next couple of months are so crucial.. and the cornerstone of American democracy.

"It's worked for more than 240 years and all accounts will continue it's an important tradition that's part of democratic politics, the United States to know that when a party changes, the government has some continuity," Klein said.
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