In a year as bizarre, distressing, and unpredictable as 2020, it was probably safe to assume that the 2020 Election would be anything but straightforward. Nearly 48 hours after polls closed, neither candidate has yet to officially reach the required 270 electoral votes, as several states remain “too close to call” for either President Trump or Joe Biden. Many states, such as Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and even our beloved Arizona are still in the process of making sure all legally cast votes are counted. On top of that, President Trump and his campaign team have already announced that they will be seeking a recount in the state of Wisconsin. To say the least, it may be days if not weeks before the election winner is formally announced. With that said, here is what we know and what we could expect in days to come:
As of now, the United States is on pace for the highest voter turnout in over a century. Current projections indicate that more than 66% of the 239 million eligible American voters have cast their ballots in this election. This would be the highest turnout rate since 1908. Hopefully, this trend will continue in the years to come, as every American’s voice should be heard.
Counting the Ballots
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically increased the number of mail-in ballots. While polls closed throughout the country on November 3, 2020, each state has its own laws related to mail-in ballot deadlines. For example, in Arizona, mail-in ballots had to be received by 7:00 p.m. on election night. On the other hand, Pennsylvania simply requires that the mail-in ballots be postmarked no later than November 3rd. So, it is possible that some valid votes in other states will not arrive until Friday.
Also, President Trump has or has threatened to file various lawsuits across the country to raise his concerns regarding absentee ballots. Specifically, President Trump alleges that some mail-in votes in the battleground states were either fraudulently cast or were cast after the deadlines. It remains to be seen how these lawsuits will impact the election.
Each state has its own laws related to recounting votes in close elections. As stated above, President Trump has already indicated that he will request a recount of the votes in Wisconsin. Under Wisconsin law, a candidate can request a recount when the margin of victory/defeat is less than 1 percent of the total votes cast. Of course, this would not be the first time a recount was requested. In fact, the 2016 election saw a recount in the state of Wisconsin as well. In addition, many of you will obviously recall the 2000 election and the Florida recount. Ultimately, no vote recount has ever changed the outcome of a presidential election. Often times, the recount is generally within a few hundred of the original vote tally.
This year has been anything but fair. While democracy is not perfect, it gives every American the chance to let their voices be heard and take an active role in the government. It might take some time to count the nearly 160 million ballots, but the next few days should be thrilling to watch.