In the previous presidential elections, the next president’s name was clear, although not official, by the election night. In 2016, Trump was declared president-elect by 3:30 am, when he reached 270 electoral votes.
However, this time, the 2020 election results delay kept all of us waiting until Saturday morning. While the considerable lead of former Vice President Joe Biden was so evident that it was only a matter of time that he would win the presidency, nothing was official.
The final declaration of the results was possible on the election night. The delayed results were just a part of the plan orchestrated by Republicans in which they resisted allowing mail-in vote-counting before election day.
Republicans knew that more Democrats were expected to vote by mail, so they had the fear that they will be put out of the game even before the election day if they let the mail-in ballots count before November 3.
President Donald Trump also claimed victory as five battleground states were yet to be ultimately counted. Various reasons contributed to the 2020 election results delay, with mail-in ballots being the most prominent.
Many experts and analysts had previously predicted this situation. Bernie Sanders opined this sequence of events weeks before the election, outlining how the 2020 election results delay would happen after voting on November 3.
The 2020 election results delay is an alarming situation and the first-time-ever experienced for Americans. Americans are unaccustomed to such a wait, but this year they would have to. This article will discuss the reasons behind the 2020 election results delay.
Why did the 2020 Election Results delay happen?
The 2020 presidential election was the most challenging and controversial in the history of the country. Several factors combine to make the 2020 presidential election controversial, and hence, delayed the election results.
America is one of those countries that is going through the worst COVID-19 periods. Thousands have lost their lives; millions have suffered and are still suffering. According to worldometers.info, total coronavirus cases in the United States are now almost ten million, out of which 3,429,080 cases are still active.
The number is growing with each day, and there is no visible solution as of yet. Due to the situation, elections officials decided to allow the voters to send their votes by mail. According to the latest estimates, almost 100 million people voted early in this election.
This number is three times more than that of 2016. The vast numbers of ballots are making the vote count difficult for the poll workers. Moreover, the United States Postal Service also has a tough time delivering the votes to the polling stations on time, which is also a factor behind the results delay.
Additionally, more than 150,000 mail-in ballots were processed by the postal service on Election Day. The Supreme Court has allowed some states to include the ballots in the vote count that have a postal stamp of the Election Day if they reach the polling location within two days after the counting starts. A complex nexus of all of these things contributed to the 2020 election result delay.
Four of the swing states made the situation more complicated:
While Joe Biden was standing six electoral votes away from a historic victory, the delays in the swing states like Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and North Carolina made the situation worse. Pennsylvania had a massive number of mail-in ballots, and in any state, the counting was not allowed until the election day. So, the delay was imminent and inevitable.
Nevada had six electoral votes, and the delay in this state was also imminent. Nevada’s secretary of state advised before the counting that the election results could take almost ten days. The state officials opined that they were targeting accuracy as compared to the speed.
Election officials were manually verifying those signatures that had failed to pass the machine verification. However, the results were clear as Biden was leading with a significant margin, and only the votes of the Democratic stronghold counties were left to be counted.
In North Carolina, Trump is ahead, but the results are not clear yet, as the state will accept the mail-in ballots until November 12. Although the total vote count will make little difference, the official results could not be announced until every vote is counted.
The race of Georgia will take time to be called, as the secretary of the state of Georgia has announced a recount in the state. The President-elect Joe Biden is currently leading the state by a margin of almost nine thousand votes.
The 2000 presidential race between George Bush and Al Gore took thirty-six days to resolve as the former went to the Supreme Court to stop the vote recount in Florida. Although the involvement of the Supreme Court is unlikely this time, however, the record-breaking numbers of mail-in voting delayed the results.
Election Day has come and gone, but the world had to wait for four days to see the final results. The pre-polls showed a sweeping victory for Joe Biden, but the election day told a completely different story, as Trump took the key swing state of Florida.
Now, as the final result of the election is announced, Joe Biden is all set to assume the charge as the 46th President of the United States in a time where he has to face the challenges of an unprecedented nature in the form of the pandemic.
Eli is a Political Data Scientist with over thirty years of experience in Data Engineering, Analytics, and Digital Marketing. Eli uses his expertise to give the latest information and distinctive analysis on US Political News, US Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, and Racial Justice equipping readers with the inequivalent knowledge.