Casting ballots, casting doubt – Flora Fletcher on US Election 2020

What seems to be turning into an election week, rather than a day, the tense wait of the presidential election outcome is raising many questions on USA’s future. With over 100 million people who cast their vote on Tuesday, the highest turnout in over a century, at the forefront of everyone’s mind is which way the battleground states will favour.

Currently Biden is ahead in one of the remaining four swing states, having already won 4 and lost 2. His way to clear victory would be to regain the ‘rustbelt’ states that Hilary Clinton lost in 2016, this would mean turning Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania back to Democrat which would get him past the 270-mark needed for a victory. He is expected to win two, but Pennsylvania could go either way and offering the biggest number of electoral votes, is a crucial state to win. Having said this, the likeliness of Trumps success is declining and even if Trump were to win Pennsylvania, to achieve a victory he’d need at least three more states to secure a win.

Even so, the tension over the battleground states is not the only cause of qualm across the US, the reaction Trump may have towards the end result is particularly worrying, especially after his premature declaration on Wednesday morning of having already won the election after making allegations of fraud.

He stated “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election.”

During this unprecedented time facing the pandemic, changes in voting habits have made it easier for Trump to level his accusations of fraud due to the substantial increase in postal votes. The Trump campaign is launching legal bids to stop the counts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Michigan, undoubtedly now resulting in many protesters taking to the streets to demand counting is allowed to continue, others calling for counting to stop. Conversely, he has offered no evidence in support of his alleged fraud which the courts are unlikely to hold counts as there is nothing unlawful about counting all legitimately cast ballots. Many Americans are worried however, that the court, with a solid conservative majority, may intervene to deliver Trumps victory.

Joe Biden similarly claimed on Wednesday afternoon, “I’m not here to declare that we’ve won but I am here to report that, when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.” The certainty coming from both candidates is making the eventualities of the presidential election increasingly speculative and the reaction of the nation will irrefutably cause a larger commotion than has ever done so before. But the question here in lies, if Joe Biden wins, how will Donald Trump react?

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