Biden Vs. Trump; A Waiting Country

Jonas Dargis '22, Sports/Entertainment Editor

The Trump campaign is taking steps to prevent ballots from being counted in Pennsylvania, while more and more pour in. President Donald Trump has also filed multiple lawsuits in the states of Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada.

Every time an election comes around, the country tunes in to news outlets to see who the media will call as the next president. We never truly know who the victor will be until a few days after the election. This election was no exception. However, the presidential race between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump has been especially close, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sharp increase in mail-in ballots. Many states were not fully equipped for the amount of mail-in votes, causing delays in reporting. Georgia suffered from the largest adjustment because it hadn’t used any form of paper ballot in nearly 20 years. In addition, many of the mail-in ballots were counted after the in-person ballots. 

Statistically, a majority of the in-person ballots around the country were for President Trump, whereas the mail-in ballots leaned heavily towards Joe Biden. This had to do with the different messages each campaign preached. The Trump campaign urged voters to get out and vote in person while the Biden campaign took the opposite approach, understanding people’s reluctance to get out and vote because of the pandemic. The Biden campaign encouraged people to request mail-in ballots so they could vote, but in a safer environment. This led to many states looking as though they might go red for President Trump because of in-person ballots. However, as late evening turned into early morning, Biden was suddenly catching up to Trump. 

Ultimately, Biden was able to close the gap in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, all states that appeared to be leaning red. These key wins, in addition to Nevada and Arizona going blue, were enough for Joe Biden to be declared president-elect by all major news outlets. 

This caused outcry from President Trump, who had already been claiming voter fraud was involved. He encouraged baseless claims such as Wisconsin having more votes than registered voters. Additionally, he repeatedly suggested that ballots coming in on Thursday and Friday nights were fabricated, demanding that Pennsylvania stopped counting votes. However, in Arizona his tone was different and he wanted pollsters to continue counting votes because he was inching into Biden’s sizable lead. 

All presidential campaigns have the right to ask for recounts, and often do. Sometimes this influences a few thousand votes, but never enough to over turn tens of thousands of votes. Despite this, the Trump campaign filed for a recount in Wisconsin, which was thrown out immediately. They also filed for recounts in Pennsylvania and Georgia which are still pending. Additionally, a case alleging that ballots received after the 7pm cut off were mixed in with ballots received on time, was heard but proven false. The Trump campaign alleged that there was a lack of transparency in Michigan, seeking to halt vote counting there as well, but this too was thrown out. In Nevada, the campaign sought to slow the counting process saying, “irregularities have plagued the election.” However, this was dismissed in addition to a previous attempt seeking to stop the process of mail-in ballots in Nevada’s most populous county, Clark County.

The state stealing all of the attention, though, is Pennsylvania. In the weeks leading up to the election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled to segregate mail-in ballots to be counted separately. Due to Pennsylvania’s low capacity to count these mail-in ballots, the votes slowly came in, a few thousand at a time, taking days to reach the final number. This slow pace, in combination with the Supreme Court ruling, led to Trump Campaign officials condemning the state for widespread voter fraud. These votes truly made the difference in the election where most of the mail-in votes went to Joe Biden, allowing him to overcome a massive margin held by President Trump for days. This caused many Republicans to come to the president’s aide in calling that there was voter fraud.

These lawsuits and recounts will play out over the coming weeks, determining the future of our country. President Trump introduced various lawsuits even before the election took place, casting doubts on mail-in ballots. However, each of them failed. The current lawsuits in play were founded on similar grounds, with little to no evidence at all. This suggests that the likelihood of these lawsuits prevailing is slim to none. This process has greatly hindered the ability for Joe Biden’s transition team from starting the transition process. This has called to question, for many people, what president Trump’s true intentions are. But either way, the American people will have to wait and see.