On Nov. 7, 2020, the Associated Press called the 2020 Presidential Election to be won by the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.
Not only was Biden declared as the winner, but the voter turnout hit record levels affirming that Biden received the highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. Ironically enough, Biden’s victory comes after two other presidential elections that did not pan out to his election to the presidency in 1988 and 2008.
After a long week in the election cycle, celebrations and protests erupted in the streets in response to the election results.
On the initial night of Election Day on Nov. 3, Republican candidate Donald Trump was in the lead with 675,000 votes.
Prior to various media outlets declaring the election winner, Trump had prematurely announced his re-election to the presidency. However, response to his early declaration resulted in many Americans being outraged
By the next day, mail-in and absentee ballots began to change the prospects to come. As called by the Associated Press on Nov. 7, Biden won 290 electoral votes in comparison to Trump’s 214. Biden also won the popular vote by 50.7%, whereas Trump only won 47.6%.
In the event that votes are recounted or disputed, these figures could change.
Yet, electoral votes and popular votes show only a small part of the bigger picture. Key swing states, such as Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada, played a key role in the final outcome.
In particular, Georgia flipped blue, and electors in the state cast their votes for Biden. Existing political factors, combined with the work of volunteers and officials, are at the base of these efforts.
For example, Stacey Abrams, a trailblazer and former state representative from Georgia registered over 800,000 voters since the 2016 Election Cycle through her non-profit organization, Fair Fight.
However, even with Georgia flipping blue, Trump’s campaign is working hard to file lawsuits and incite the American people to reject the reported election results. However, most of these petitions have been rejected in the courts.
Kevin Baron, a professor in political science, reflected on the “razor-thin margins” that have impacted the 2020 Election Cycle. Baron speculates that Georgia will recount votes in order to respond to Republican claims that the election was fraudulent or mistaken.
So, does Trump have substantial evidence to back up his argument of election fraud?
According to Baron, “What becomes dangerous is this undermining of our elections and trust in our democracy and institutions.”
Trump’s “Stop the Steal” campaign and claims of voter fraud have been commonly linked with rhetoric regarding rigged elections in the 2016 Presidential Cycle. Yet, the 2016 Election Cycle was more focused on voter interference from foreign campaigns rather than voter fraud.
A slow-moving election cycle is typical in American politics and not inherently indicative of election fraud. Past election cycles, high voter turnout, and increased rates of mail-in and absentee ballots all serve as factors that indicate a delay to be normal in this 2020 Election Cycle.
After all, as Baron finds, “A healthy democracy relies on citizens to be engaged.”
Ballots continue to be counted until states approach their deadlines to receive mail-in and absentee ballots. Some states also extended deadlines due to COVID-19 concerns. The last day for ballots to be received is in California for state and local elections on November 20th, 2020. However, the Tennessee deadline was on Election Day.