Biden Won the Presidency. What’s Next?

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On Saturday, November 7, the media projected that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would be president-elect after electoral victories in Pennsylvania and Nevada. In Pennsylvania, Biden won 49.8 percent of the popular vote and secured 46,002 more votes than Trump. In Nevada, Biden won 50.2 percent of the popular votes and received 36,274 more votes than Trump. Votes continue to be counted in both states. Here’s what’s next for the election.

Georgia vote count

More than five million people voted in Georgia, and votes are still being counted with approximately 98 percent of votes counted. So far, Biden has garnered 49.5 percent of Georgia’s popular vote, with 2,469,707 votes. Trump has thus far received 49.25 percent of Georgia’s popular vote, with 2,457,140 votes. Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, has said that he expects a recount since Biden currently holds a narrow lead of 12,567 votes.

In Georgia, local election officials must certify county results and send the tally of votes Raffensperger by November 13. The secretary of state has until November 20 to confirm the statewide results. The losing candidate can request a recount if he loses by less than 0.5 percent of the total votes. The recount request must be made to the secretary of state within two business days of the election results’ verification.

Many Georgians in Atlanta’s suburbs voted for Biden, and most votes that remain uncounted are from this region. In 2016, Trump won Georgia by five percentage points, and before Biden’s win, no Democrat has carried the state since 1992.

Arizona vote count

Many of the remaining ballots in Arizona are from Democratic-leaning areas, but Trump has been catching up to Biden as more ballots are counted. Biden leads Arizona by 14,220 votes and currently holds 49.46 percent of its popular vote (1,652,350 votes) compared to Trump’s 49.03 percent (1,638,130 votes). Approximately 99 percent of Arizona’s votes have been tallied.

There are about 60,000 regular ballots left to be tallied in Arizona. These ballots include more than 20,000 ballots ready for counting, tens of thousands of provisional ballots that need to be processed, and 4,200 mail-in ballots that need to be verified. Election officials have until November 23 to finalize local results. Then, the secretary of state will certify statewide results by November 30.

Historically, Arizona has been a Republican-leaning state. In 2016, Trump won Arizona by approximately four percentage points.

What’s next for Trump?

Although Trump has lost, he still hasn’t conceded or promised a peaceful transfer of power. According to two sources, First Lady Melania Trump and senior adviser Jared Kushner have advised President Trump to concede to President-elect Biden. Jason Miller, Trump’s campaign spokesman, denied that Kushner talked to Trump about accepting defeat. Additionally, Trump and his son Eric are urging Republicans and Trump’s campaign team to contest the results.

Trump’s campaign has filed multiple lawsuits attempting to invalidate votes and claim voter fraud. In Pennsylvania, his campaign sought to have election officials stop counting ballots, and a federal judge dismissed the request. In Nevada, the Trump campaign filed two suits to impact the counting of ballots, and both suits were rejected. In Georgia, Trump filed one suit to disqualify 53 ballots, and the lawsuit was dismissed. 

On November 7, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit in Arizona state court baselessly alleging that voters’ ballots had been rejected since marker use would invalidate votes. Arizona election officials debunked this claim and have said markers are safe to use on ballots. Trump’s campaigns will likely continue to file more lawsuits to contest Biden’s victory.

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