Annalisse Galaviz
News Editor

As millions of ballots are being collected nationwide, President Trump is showing signs of rejecting the election results.

As of Wednesday morning, Nov. 4, though not all states are done counting, including key swing states like Pennsylvania, President Trump has already asked for a recount. According to KTLA Live News, “Trump’s campaign manager said the President is well within the threshold to request a recount which they plan on doing immediately.”

Trump has casted doubt on the election results since election night. At only 9:49 p.m. PST on Nov. 3, Trump tweeted: “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!“ 

A tweet by Donald Trump.
Courtesy of @realDonaldTrump on Twitter

This morning, Trump followed up his statement with tweets of unverified claims that Biden is winning 100 percent of recently counted ballots. Likewise, he criticized the mail-in ballot system, given his recent decrease in lead in “key states” he claimed to “solidly” have a lead in, though this is unverifiable.

 

An unverified poll of vote by mail ballots as retweeted by President Trump.
Courtesy of @MattMackowiak on Twitter
Donald Trump tweet.
Courtesy of @realDonaldTrump on Twitter

Most notably, President Trump’s election night speech, on Nov. 3 at 11:30 p.m. PST, claimed that the election has been fraudulent and, in turn, declared his own victory.

“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election and, frankly, we did win this election,” said President Trump in his speech.

However, no president has actually been elected yet. Vote counting is not expected to be completed for the election until about Nov. 6 due to unique circumstances surrounding this election. This election’s popular count must include an increased number of mail-in, absentee, overseas military, and provisional ballots.

Additionally, states must certify their results, which, as seen in Pennsylvania and other swing states, may take some time, especially when only 20 counties overall are said to determine the results of the election. 

Following Trump’s false declaration of victory, he then called for the ballots to stop being counted, voicing in his speech that he was set to celebrate and was then disappointed by the halt in declarations of state victories in swing states. For those who have been following Trump’s campaign, his call for vote counting to stop was not surprising, given his past critiques of mail-in ballots.

Donald Trump tweet.
Courtesy of @realdonaldtrump on Twitter.

Only five days ago, on Oct. 30, Trump called for the election to be decided on Nov. 3 despite the many circumstances making this year’s count tricky. According to the New York Times, “Mail ballots tend to take longer to process than in-person votes, and millions more people are voting by mail this year than ever before because of the pandemic. Because the voters choosing to do this are disproportionately Democrats, neither in-person ballots nor mail ballots will be representative of the full vote count.”

“The Election should end on [Nov. 3], not weeks later!” President Trump tweeted Friday. This came two days after he also told reporters in Nevada, “Hopefully, the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after Nov. 3 to count ballots, won’t be allowed by the various courts.” Trump also falsely claimed, on Oct. 27, that counting ballots for weeks after Election Day “is totally inappropriate, and I don’t believe that’s by our laws,” according to Politifact.

Despite Trump’s urgings, even in past elections with less tricky circumstances, final decisions have not been made by election night. “There are no official results on Election Night — there never have been,” said Constitutional Law Professor Edward B. Foley, who specializes in elections. “Election Night tallies are always just preliminary, pending certification of the canvass of returns under state law, which takes time. Every state has a law on this point.”

In his Nov. 3 speech, at 11:25 p.m. PST, Trump also declared another somewhat surprising course of action: he would contest the election results at the Supreme Court.

“. . . Our goal now is to ensure integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment. This is a major fraud on our nation,” Trump said. “We want the law to be used in a proper manner so we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court.” 

Following the President’s declaration that he intended to bring the election to the Supreme Court, Senate majority leader Mitch McConell voiced his approval of such action. “I’m not troubled at all by the president’s suggestion of that because the other side’s already doing it, too,” McConell told Louisville reporters.

To clarify, at the time of this remark, the Biden campaign team had not called for the election to be judged by the Supreme Court, nor had they questioned the legitimacy of mail-in ballots. Though Biden did predict his own victory on Twitter when this race  is still too close to call, he has not declared victory, unlike Trump.

Joe Biden tweet.
Former VP Biden predicts his victory. Courtesy of @JoeBiden on Twitter.
Courtesy of @JoeBiden on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other components of Trump’s speech were similarly divisive, also taking aim at Biden voters. “Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight, and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we won’t stand for it,” said Trump.

He also claimed victory in undecided states such as Georgia and North Carolina during his speech. Similar to his statements leading up to the election, Trump’s pre-mature declaration of victory over key states is another example of sowing doubt of Biden’s victory when the vote is completed. All of these claims will become contributing factors to his case for the Supreme Court after the election results are finalized.

“We’ve won states that we weren’t expected to win. . . . [It’s] clear that we have won Georgia. We’re up by [. . .] 117,000 votes, with only seven percent left. They’re never going to catch us. They can’t catch us,” said President Trump. “Likewise, we’ve clearly won North Carolina. We’re up 1.4 percent, or 77,000 votes, with approximately five percent left. They can’t catch us.”

When discussing Arizona, which had flipped in favor of Biden earlier in the night on Nov. 3, Trump said during his 11:25 p.m. PST speech, “Somebody sad declared that it was a victory for us and maybe it will be that’s possible, but certainly there were a lot of votes out there that we could get we’re just now coming into what they call ‘Trump territory’ . . . that could be overturned.” This suggestion that Arizona could vote in favor of Trump in direct contradiction with poll numbers contributes to Trump’s perpetual distrust of the ballot count.

Trump also questioned the legitimacy of accurate news reporting, as he has continually emphasized through using the term “fake news” throughout his two campaigns and Presidential term. “That gentleman [. . .] I watched tonight, he said: ‘Well, we think it’s fairly unlikely that he could catch’ — well, fairly unlikely? . . . [T]here’s a possibility — maybe even a good possibility. . . . It’s been huge and the numbers have substantially come down just in a small amount of votes, so we want that — obviously — to stay in play,” he said during his nighttime Nov. 3 speech.

Overall, Trump’s election night declarations of victory and cries of seemingly unlikely fraud suggest Trump will not submit to a peaceful transition of power, as many have suspected for months. When asked in July on Fox News whether he would accept the election, Trump responded, ““I have to see. Look, you — I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.” 

Throughout the 2020 debates, Trump switched his stances on accepting the election results. As reported by NPR, Trump told a crowd on Oct. 15 that he would only accept results if he wins: “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election . . . if I win.” Likewise, he again told Christopher Wallace during the first 2020 debate, “I will look at [the election results] at the time . . . I’ll keep you in suspense.”

Chart of major swing states.
It is a close race for Biden and Trump in five major swing states, along with other swing states (not shown). Courtesy of The Associated Press.

 

However, Trump half-backtracked his statements, telling moderator Savannah Guthrie during his Oct. 15 NBC town hall he would accept election results, should they be what he deems fair. “They spied heavily on my campaign and they tried to take down a duly elected sitting president, and then they talk about ‘will you accept a peaceful transfer?’ And the answer is, yes, I will, but I want it to be an honest election and so does everybody else,” said Trump. The president then cited highly unverified claims of ballot fraud: “When I see thousands of ballots dumped in a garbage can and they happen to have my name on it, I’m not happy about it.”

All that is left for the vote is the swing states: Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, though the Trump campaign is currently trying to sue to stop the ballot counts of Pennsylvania and Michigan. 

Until the swing states are finished with counting, then all states complete recounting, and the Supreme Court rules in favor of one candidate, Americans will not know who their President is. Though there is no knowing for sure how long this will take, citizens are encouraged to stay calm and not expect results immediately.

 

 

 

Feature image: Courtesy of Carlos Barria | Reuters

Author

  • Annalisse Galaviz is the News Editor for the Quaker Campus. She has worked for the paper since 2018 in former roles as a copy editor and news assistant. She likes writing about hard-hitting current events and, naturally, spends most of her time on political Twitter so she can do this. Assuming she has free time, she enjoys writing bad poems and fiction stories.

Annalisse Galaviz is the News Editor for the Quaker Campus. She has worked for the paper since 2018 in former roles as a copy editor and news assistant. She likes writing about hard-hitting current events and, naturally, spends most of her time on political Twitter so she can do this. Assuming she has free time, she enjoys writing bad poems and fiction stories.

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