Following on from last week’s excellent articles regarding the U.S election, I feel it is appropriate to explore what the future means for the election now that Biden has won. Today (10/11/20) marks 3 days since Biden was announced as the winner of the election and in that time many global leaders have both congratulated Biden and indirectly criticised Trump’s actions. Despite this, what we are not seeing is a concession speech by Trump. Rather, he is acting on his claims of voter fraud in a last-ditch effort for a second term. The US Attorney-General has given the go-ahead for federal prosecutors to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities during last week’s presidential election. What this means is that Trump has now got increased hope of using the Justice Department in a bid to challenge the outcome of the election, which he claims was fraudulent without evidence.
So, what are the allegations? Well the allegations by Trump are as simple as this, dead people are voting. Dead people cannot vote, and so voter fraud has occurred. The “evidence” for this is claims that figures such as Joe Frazier (The first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali) voted in Philadelphia despite passing away in 2011. Other figures such as Will Smith’s father have also allegedly voted twice since passing away. Further claims are that poll watchers were obstructed; they were unable to observe or challenge the counting process. So far, none of these claims have had any evidence to support them.
The Attorney-General stated that “if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State”. Changing the winner of states could lead to a change in the overall election result if the result changes in key states such as Pennsylvania. In response to this news, a justice lawyer that would have been in charge of these investigations has quit, and Biden remains certain that he won a fair election.
Not only this but Trump has fired the Secretary of Defence Mark Esper and blocked government officials from cooperating with Mr Biden’s team as his administration are blocking the transition of power to Biden. What is clear from these actions is Trump is desperate to maintain his power and potential as President from 2021-2025. Considering the global response in support of Biden, and the fact many leaders such as Macron and Johnson have already communicated plans with Biden, it could be viewed as a catastrophe for democracy should Trump refuse to concede.
It is clear that this election will certainly be remembered as a unique one for the right or wrong reasons.
Update: 11/11/2020 ‘Georgia confirms full hand recount of US election’
The next steps
- 8 December: All recounts and certification of results to be completed by states
- 14 December: Electoral college members meet in state capitals to formally cast their ballots for president and vice president
- 6 January: Joint session of House of Representatives and Senate to count electoral votes
- 20 January: New president sworn in