Biden inches closer to U.S. Presidency
• Leads in Electoral College votes
• Pennsylvania, Michigan wait on mail votes
Joe Biden has taken a slim lead in Tuesday’s Presidential election, claiming 237 electoral votes, as opposed to incumbent President Donald Trump’s 213. Trump had, early morning of Tuesday, won the battleground state of Florida with a higher margin than he did in 2016. There are 29 electoral votes in Florida.
Trump also clinched the entire 38 electoral votes in Texas by defeating Biden in popular votes cast.
By winning the state of Texas, the Republicans shattered Biden’s hope of being the first Democrat to win the state since 1974.
Until Tuesday, election polling has consistently put Texas up for grabs, with Democrats standing a good chance.
He also beat Biden in critical states of Texas and Ohio. Presidential candidates would need 270 electoral votes to be declared fit for the White House at the Electoral College in December.
President Trump in the early hours of Wednesday (6 am) tweeted: We are all big, but they are trying to steal it. Votes cannot be cast after polls are closed.”
“We’re going to win the election.
But Biden in an address to a crowd in Delaware said, “We knew this was going to go long,” and expressed hopes for victory. “We’re going to win the election. We have to be patient,” said Biden.
“Legally cast votes, being legally counted after the polls close on Election Day, as per state law, cannot be defined as “stealing” an election,” a source close to Biden Campaign told The Guardian in response to Trump’s controversial tweet.
“I believe the Biden campaign feels optimistic about its chances in Michigan and possibly in Wisconsin. Also, I think his (Biden’s) comments were intended to settle the public and remind the incumbent that all the votes need to be counted prior to declaring a winner,” the source said.
His hope in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, all battleground states for this year’s election, lies in the highly populated and diverse urban areas, which still have low percentages of their votes counted.
Biden is leading with small margins in those states and will automatically clinch the Presidency once declared in his favour. Millions of mail ballots are yet to be counted in Pennsylvania and Michigan and large chunk of the votes are expected to count for Biden’s Democratic Party.
Biden’s electoral fortune started to manifest when Arizona fell for Democrats.
The nail-biter election is now coming down to Pennsylvania and Michigan, as Wisconsin also fell for Biden late last night.
Trump Wednesday threatened to approach the Supreme Court to stop vote counting in contentious areas, a statement that has drawn the ire of Democrats. Biden, in late statement, dared the president to challenge his victory in court.
The three states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina will determine who wins the presidency, all already looking good for the Democrats.
But officials will need more days to count late mail ballots, based on Supreme Court judgments in the affected states.
There were five Supreme Court rulings between October 20 and October 29, which could lead to extended days for receipt of mail votes in some states, including Pennsylvania.
On October 20, the Republicans lost a swing-state battle in Pennsylvania, as the Supreme Court ruled that mail ballots could be received three days after Election Day. This happened after the Postal Service said that delivery delays could lead to disenfranchisement around the state.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court ruling, on Monday, October 26, limited ballot counting in Wisconsin. The court had ruled that Wisconsin could not accept ballots that arrive after polls close on Election Day. The ruling Democratic Party in the state announced a major education project to inform constituents.
Pennsylvania, followed suit on October 28 when the US Supreme Court declined a Republican request to expedite a review of Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballot deadlines—the case it had ruled on the previous week. But the conservative justices left room for the possibility of revisiting the case after the election.
Consequently, Pennsylvania officials are set to isolate ballots received after Election Day in case there is a legal battle. Expectedly, the matter is now resurfacing after the election because the vote is close in Pennsylvania.
Democrats in North Carolina won a similar case on October 29, in a 5-3 decision, with Chief Justice Roberts joining the more liberal justices in allowing North Carolina to receive and count votes up to nine days after Election Day. This extension, from three days to nine days, came from the state’s board of elections.
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