The unknowns to clear from endless scrutiny

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A week after the polls close, some states still do not have an official winner and most have not completed the full count

One week after Election Day on the 3rd, most US states have still not finished the vote. The massive participation in advance and by mail, encouraged by the context of the pandemic, has further slowed down a complex and particular process in each of the 50 federal territories, with the power to establish their own rules and that affect the deadlines, the way of casting the votes or the dates to officially certify the results. The final numbers are scheduled for early December. In spite of everything, Democrat Joe Biden is considered the president-elect since Saturday, when he surpassed the barrier of 270 electoral votes, adding the votes already obtained and counting on the fact that the number of ballots that are still to be counted does not allow mathematically to give a I turn to the results. Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Alaska are the states most stuck on the count.

In addition to the flurry of advance voting, another factor for the delay of the process is the harsh polarization and the fact that Donald Trump is raising the specter of a fraud. Polling stations are taking special care to avoid irregular situations in early participation and by mail. This type of ballot must go through several steps before it is counted, including review by election officials to ensure its validity.

There are several States with the count still going. Nevada and Arizona, in the west, are immersed in a progressive evolution of the vote as a result of demographic changes and also share two of the tightest ends. Just 15,000 votes is the difference in favor of Biden in Arizona, with 98% counted. In Nevada, the Democrat’s advantage is around 36,000 ballots, with the vote counting at 97%, although most of the media have already awarded Biden the victory in this territory, which has until December 1 to officially certify the results. . In the case of Arizona, the deadline is November 30.

Georgia is, at the moment, the only one that has announced a more than probable new calculation due to the minimum margin that separates both candidates. With 98% scrutinized, the difference for Biden stands at just over 12,000 votes, 0.25%. When the margin in an election is less than half a point, state regulations give the loser the opportunity to request a review. The date for the certification of the results is the 20th. Thereafter, the request could be made effective, which would lead to not knowing the final result until near the end of the year.

The other southern state where the final is still open is North Carolina, which has until November 24 to officially certify the results. Trump is ahead – by 74,000 votes – with 98% counted. State electoral authorities have announced that they will continue to accept ballots by mail until Thursday.

Beyond the states where there is still some doubt, California is one of the most backward in its scrutiny. However, he was one of the first to announce Biden as the winner. Since the nineties, after the boom in the participation of the children and grandchildren of Latino and Asian migration, the large cities of the State have become a guarantee for Democratic victory. Although there is still more than 10% to scrutinize in California, Biden doubles in electoral support for Trump.

Once the endless counts are closed, the documents with the results in each territory will be sent to the president of the Senate and the National Archive until December 23. The official vote is also sent to the newly elected Congress – a part of the House has been renewed in these elections – which will meet in a joint session on January 6, 2021 and announce the results. Despite Trump’s desperate attempts to judicialize the vote, the most recent example of which was the 2000 elections, when the final announcement of the winner was delayed for more than a month, it seems highly probable that the process will from now on continue the course. provided.

The judicial buts to the process have focused on some modifications of the state electoral regulations, which exceptionally changed this year. To encourage participation and provide security, the requirements for voting by mail were made more flexible, without the need to present a justification for it. The result has been that about 64 million voters sent their ballot by mail or deposited it in a mailbox at a polling station. Added to those who went early to polling stations already open, they exceeded 100 million people, breaking all historical records for participation.

Lawsuits filed by Republicans in key states have for now been thrown out by the courts. But the battle is expected to drag on for several weeks.

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