By: Maria Giovanna Jumper
As of November 5, 2020 the election has come down to only six states, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and Alaska. Former Vice President Joe Biden officially won Wisconsin and Michigan yesterday evening as this election becomes more contested.
The New York Times announced that Wisconsin was won by only 20,534 votes and Michigan by 146,896 votes, which has led to incumbent President Donald Trump calling for a revote. Trump first called for a recount in Wisconsin where the difference between each candidate is less than one percent.
Since being declared a blue state, many have taken to social media to claim voter fraud, specifically because they have wrongfully claimed that the number of votes exceeds the number of registered voters. This claim was quickly proved untrue, many of the posts had cited numbers from the 2018 midterm elections while also ignoring that Wisconsin allows for same day voter registration.
Others have said that it doesn’t make sense that so many mail-in-ballots were in favor of Biden, while barely any for Trump. Michigan and Wisconsin were two states that counted in-person ballots first and left mail-in-ballots for last. This prompted many to question Biden’s late lead, but according to Professor Maggie Gray of the Political Science Department, “Absentee ballots tend to favor Democrats.”
Professor Tracy Levy, also of the Political Science department, said that many of those who said they were supporting Biden also said they would be voting by mail, on the contrary many of those who said they were supporting Trump when polled said they would vote in person.
It is thus not surprising that Biden pulled ahead only after mail-in ballots began being counted. But even these leads have not been as great as the polling expected it to be. Again, as was true in 2016, polling data has not been accurate in showing official results, especially in swing states.
As Professor Gray stated, “It could be weeks until we have results from this election.” Especially with some states stating they will not finish counting until at least this weekend, including, according to the NY Times, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, two major states in this election.
Nevada and possibly Georgia are planning to have updates today. Arizona has planned to release an update on November 5 at 9 pm, after releasing an update at 1 am.
Finally, Alaska will not provide any numbers on mail-in ballots for another week.
At this point, Biden is still leading in Arizona and Nevada. Trump, on the other hand, is leading in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alaska. If these leads hold, Biden would win with exactly 270 electoral votes, while Trump will have a close 268 electoral votes.
In other cases either candidate can gain a lead in a state they are currently losing. Even with Wisconsin and Michigan flipping blue, this election is too close to call. It is also unclear if we will know tomorrow, or days from now, or weeks.
Some are worried about lawsuits over voter fraud. Trump has said he will be opening lawsuits in Michigan and Pennsylvania where he claims that ballots have been tampered with to favor Biden or that forged ballots were counted. In Pennsylvania, Eric Trump called it “Trump Nation” and said that it is obvious that his father has won the election. Rudy Guilliani, former Governor of New York, said that Republican legal poll watchers were not allowed to observe ballot counting, saying “we have not received meaningful access” to the counting of ballots. The Biden campaign also has lawyers, but they have found no reason to contest anything while the votes are still being counted.
The election officials in both states have said that they have systems in place to prove that their elections have been conducted without fraud and fairly to each candidate.