Nation awaits presidential election results


Sarah Baldwin and Jess Kaplan

After a long and controversial election season, Americans are now nervously awaiting the results of the 2020 presidential election between incumbent President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Experts had warned that the winner would not be declared on Election Night, and the tabulation of mail-in, provisional and early ballots would likely take days or even weeks. As of Thursday afternoon, votes were still too close to call in the states of Alaska, Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania. According to the Associated Press, Joe Biden has 264 projected electoral votes, needing only six more to win. President Donald Trump has a much more difficult task, with only 214 projected electoral votes and a deficit of 56 in order to win, and is currently pursuing legal challenges in multiple states on the basis of anecdotal accusations of “voter fraud.” Nevertheless, Trump has celebrated tight victories in Florida and Ohio, two states Biden hoped to peel away from Trump’s 2016 electoral map, and maintains a narrow edge in North Carolina. 

Ambiguity has largely prevailed over the results of the past few days, precipitated by an unusually large number of mail-in ballots, an almost record turnout and the lack of immediate results in several key swing states. In Pennsylvania alone, a battleground state, more than 2.4 million mail-in ballots have pushed the final tally multiple days past Nov. 3, and remains unfinished at time of writing.

Many Democrats expressed fears that Trump would attempt to halt the counting of all votes before a legitimate decision was made regarding the presidential winner. The President has already filed lawsuits in three states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia — in response to Biden’s lead.

Trump prematurely claimed victory early Wednesday morning, calling for a stop to vote tabulation already underway; one choice tweet by the President on Thursday morning admonished battleground states to “STOP THE COUNT.” No news organization has yet declared a winner, and a number of closely contested states still have thousands of mail-in-votes to be counted. Trump has expressed a willingness to continue his legal battle against the election results, announcing that, “we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court,” since “We want all voting to stop,” accusing Democrats of stealing the election.  

Biden minced no words in condemning the President’s behavior, noting in a Wednesday morning tweet that “It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare the winner of this election. It’s the voters’ place.”

Given the few battleground states left, an official announcement is expected to take place in the coming days.

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