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As vote tallying in key swing states continues, current results project a Biden victory

Nevada, Pennsylvania have yet to count all votes due to high number of mail-in ballots

By and
Senior Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

As electoral votes are still being counted in key swing states like Nevada and Pennsylvania nearly 24 hours after Election Day, signs point to a potential victory for Joe Biden. 

A candidate must clinch at least 270 of 538 total electoral votes to win the election.The former Vice President currently holds 264 electoral votes while President Donald Trump has 214, according to the AP. According to the New York Times, Biden holds 253 electoral votes, as the network has not yet called Arizona, which holds 11 electoral votes and at press time had an estimated 86 percent of votes reported. Despite the fact that Nevada is expected to be called Thursday at noon, it is unclear how long it will take to confirm an official electoral college win for either candidate. 

“We believe we’re on track to win this election,” Biden said early Wednesday morning in his native Wilmington, Delaware. “We knew because of the unprecedented early vote and the mail-in vote that it’s going to take a while. We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished. And it ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”

Biden’s lead comes after President Trump’s repeated criticism of the mail-in ballot system, which many voters have relied on due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the election, the president repeatedly called into the question the validity of mail-in ballots.

Democratic hopes of a landslide victory for Biden were crushed early Tuesday night as several key battleground states swung red. While Biden led by about two points on average in Florida polls, the state and its 29 electoral college votes went to Trump. Once Florida was called, the tone of the night shifted.

But the shift of swing states Wisconsin and Michigan to blue Wednesday afternoon restored Democrats’ hopes for a Biden victory. In 2016, Trump won both states in the ‘blue wall,’ flipping them red when neither state had voted for a Republican since 1990. The battleground states had appeared to lean red for most of election night this year, but flipped as Democrat-leaning mail-in ballots were tallied last, including those from urban areas like Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County. 

Early Wednesday morning, Trump prematurely declared victory during a speech at the White House, calling the tallying of mail-in ballots “a fraud on the American public.” While votes were still being counted, the Trump campaign announced it would pursue legal action to stop the counting of mail ballots in Pennsylvania. The Trump campaign also called for a recount of Wisconsin votes.

Additionally, Trump tweeted that his camp has “claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina.” He added that the aforementioned states all have “a BIG Trump lead.”

The president also tweeted that his campaign would “claim” Michigan, despite the Associated Press calling the state for Biden Wednesday evening. Trump asserted that “there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots” in the state of Michigan, “as has been widely reported!” Twitter later flagged the tweet as “misleading” and composed of “disputed” information.

Some Brown students have reacted to Trump’s response with alarm. 

“Our democracy has been at stake this entire election and Trump’s premature claim to victory only emphasized that fact,” Madeleine McGrath ’22 said. “I’m legitimately scared of the lengths he will go to to ensure a ‘victory’ for himself, as it has been apparent during his entire time in office that Trump has no respect for the rules of our country and believes himself to be fully above the law.”

Others are growing weary at the continued discourse over mail-in ballots and the long tallying process. 

“I’m feeling exhausted and sick of waiting, but I know we have to wait and we have to be patient,” Michela Savignano ’22 said. 

Christian Diaz de Leon ’21, founder of the Brown chapter of Turning Point USA, told The Herald he believes that the “president wants all lawful votes to be counted and has legal teams on the ground to ensure that election fraud will not be the determinant of this election,” in response to Trump’s claims of election fraud. Diaz de Leon added that “the American people deserve to have results that are accurate and reflect the true will of the country.”

Many Republicans have denounced the president’s premature claims of victory and claims against counting all mail-in ballots. 

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told ABC News that “there’s just no basis to make that argument tonight. There just isn’t. All these votes have to be counted that are in now.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also tweeted that “taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud.”

“Once this election is finalized and behind us,” Biden tweeted Nov. 4 at about 5 p.m. in response to the Trump campaign’s claims of fraudulent voting, “it will be time for us to do what we’ve always done as Americans: to put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us.”

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