It’s nail-biting in the United States as the votes of the presidential election are counted. Both President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have already expressed optimism about their chances of winning in a first speech. But Trump also immediately threatened to go to the Supreme Court to end “all voting.” The ballot boxes had been closed for some time, so the president may have been referring to counting postal votes that have yet to arrive. “We don’t want them to find ballots at 4 a.m. and add them to the list,” said Trump, speaking of “fraud.” We are currently waiting for the results of the last states, and they are not expected to come until tomorrow or later. It concerns votes that will determine the final result.
With his statement that he is going to the highest court of justice, Trump is actually doing what he announced before the election. By halting vote counting, he hopes to prevent all postal votes from being counted, votes cast predominantly by Democrats. If vote counting were stopped now, he would win the election. After all, Trump is ahead in most states that have not yet had a definitive outcome.
But does he really have a chance of being right in the Supreme Court? And can the new ultra-conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett who quickly nominated Trump for election and sworn in last week, make a difference?
That remains to be seen. The most likely scenario is that the dialing system is still working. This is aimed at ensuring that the final result of the vote correctly reflects the votes cast. It is highly decentralized, with thousands of jurisdictions staffed by members of both major parties. They function autonomously, and the results can always be reviewed. Representatives of both parties and the media are also constantly watching to see if irregularities are happening.
Should the Supreme Court nevertheless decide to hear the case, it will look at some important legal principles. Something that Joe Biden’s camp is aiming for. And all votes cast in the various constituencies in a particular state must be countable in the same way.
The Supreme Court has already ruled on two important cases in the run-up to the elections. One ruling allowed ballots in the state of Pennsylvania up to three days after election day to be counted. They must be posted by Election Day at the latest, and that is something the postmark makes clear.
That ruling came after the death of liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg but before Barrett’s appointment. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts voted along with the three Liberal judges, which led to a tie of four to four. As a result, existing Pennsylvania jurisdiction remained unaffected.
Roberts went the other way in the second statement: it did not allow the same thing in Wisconsin. He indicated that in Wisconsin, there are different jurisprudence and different precedents. The Republicans now want Pennsylvania to be on the same principle as Wisconsin. And they hope to be right now that the court has six Conservative and three Liberal judges.
Although election results are increasingly being challenged in court, it is very rare for presidential elections to be the focus of a case before the highest judicial body. In modern history, it happened only once, in 2000.
Then the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the votes had to be recounted in a very close race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Because Bush was in the lead, the Republicans went to the federal Supreme Court. That indeed halted the recount. The reason: that the different rules for counting votes in different counties violated the equal rights clause.
Biden’s team has already responded to the legal action threatened by Trump. “Tonight’s statement by the president about ending the counting of correctly cast votes was outrageous, unseen, and inaccurate,” he said.
The US elections will remain exciting for at least another day. We are currently waiting for the last states’ results, and they are not expected to come until tomorrow or later. It concerns votes that will determine the final result.
Don’t hold your breath if you’re expecting the results today because Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia are still busy counting. This means that the results are not expected until tomorrow or even Friday. These states are also known as swing states, or states where the outcome is not necessarily fixed. All these states involve a significant number of electors, and both Trump and Biden need their support to win.
Ten electoral votes can be obtained in Wisconsin; the result is expected sometime tomorrow afternoon. Wisconsin is a state where white workers have a major say. They didn’t like Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump won completely unexpectedly four years ago, but now Biden is leading with a small number of votes. He had a bigger lead in the polls, but that no longer counts.
In Michigan, which may not be conclusive until Thursday morning, Trump has now been overtaken by Biden. This is mainly due to the votes that have been cast by post and are now being added. Here are sixteen electoral votes. Along with Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Michigan was one of the so-called blue wall states that used to go almost automatically to the Democrats. The political climate in Michigan has been explosive for a while. A pro-Trump militia attacked the parliament building and wanted to kidnap the Democratic governor. The question is how a late defeat for Trump will fall there.
The biggest hit can be achieved in Pennsylvania, which has twenty electors to distribute. The classic swing state, although people have voted Democratic here since Bill Clinton. They liked little of his wife, Hillary. More than one million postal votes have to be counted here. That may take until Friday evening or Saturday morning. The state can be decisive if Trump or Biden fails to conquer both previous states. If they do, the question is how much difference the results in Pennsylvania make.
In North Carolina, Trump has a minimal lead. That fits perfectly with a purple state, which therefore floats between red and blue. You can even count up to 12 November here. Should Trump win, he will earn fifteen electors.
Also, in Georgia, which expects to come with results tomorrow afternoon, Trump is currently slightly ahead, but there are many more votes to be counted. Traditionally, this state has more often voted for Democrats. Profit in Georgia produces sixteen electors. According to The New York Times, tens of thousands of votes have yet to be counted here.
More electoral votes
Joe Biden now has more electors than Hillary Clinton did four years ago. She then managed to collect 227; Biden now has 238. President Trump now has 213 electors. In addition to the aforementioned states, Nevada – which will only issue a result on Thursday – and Alaska have yet to report their results. Those two states account for six and three electors, respectively. In Nebraska and Maine, the two states that do not have a winner-take-all rule, not all electoral votes have been awarded yet.