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  • 2020 US election

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You could reasonably have expected that by now you had an inkling of the results of the US presidential election.

Okay, who will be the next president?

We don’t know because Donald Trump or Joe Biden haven’t counted enough votes to claim victory.

Image rightsReuters

This can take days due to the time it takes to count the large number of postal votes cast in these pandemic elections.

And if the results are legally challenged, it can even take weeks. This could be difficult.

Not even a hint?

You don’t have to win the referendum to be president. Instead, a candidate must win a majority in a system called an electoral college, in which each state receives a certain number of votes, or “voters,” roughly proportionate to its population.

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So if you win this state, you win its votes (except for Nebraska and Maine, but that’s complicated). There are a total of 538 of these state votes – the person who receives 270 votes becomes president.

Despite an almost record turnout this time around, it is, as usual, only a few important battlefield states whose voters will decide on the election.

  • Mr Biden and Mr Trump are expected to win the states that were expected to win
  • In some crucial competitive conditions the race is still very close
  • In some of these close races, officials haven’t even started counting letter votes and these could change everything.

Then let’s look at some of these states.

Florida: Projected for Donald Trump – in explaining the result, many point to Cuban-American support in Miami-Dade County.

Image rightsReuters

Arizona: The state has not voted democratically since 1996 but looks like a potential win for Mr Biden, who persecutes young progressive Latinos who live there.

Wisconsin and Pennsylvania: These states haven’t even started counting absentee votes, and that could take days.

The story of the night in one line?

Donald Trump is doing better than expected and Joe Biden failed to win the battlefield states that count votes quickly, which means more uncertainty as we wait for some key states.

And in her own words …

Joe Biden approached the supporters and said, “We’ll win this,” but also urged patience. Donald Trump said Republicans won and falsely claimed fraud – as we know, votes are still being counted and there is no evidence of fraud.

Should I have stayed up?

There were some big moments, but especially in the other elections where control of the Senate is still in balance:

  • Trump’s ally Senator Lindsey Graham is set to win his Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison in South Carolina, a race that at one point looked like he might lose.
  • Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, the first open proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, won a seat in Congress – she went unchallenged.
  • Also in the race for control of the Senate, the Democrats lost Alabama, their most vulnerable seat, but Colorado to the Republicans.
  • Arizona, New Jersey, and South Dakota all appear to have voted to legalize marijuana for personal use.
  • America has its highest rank as an openly elected transgender official after Sarah McBride was elected to a Delaware seat.

So what now?

We may not know for days. This seems like the most likely scenario as the battle will shift to postal voting, which has not yet been counted in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Lawyers could get involved. Donald Trump has previously said that if the outcome is near, he would face legal challenges. This means it could potentially take weeks.

Will uncertainty lead to unrest? There will definitely be uncertainty, but while many Americans have spoken out about their concerns, it is too early to say if there will be any significant unrest.

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