Home School News 2020 Presidential Election: Celebration & Controversy

2020 Presidential Election: Celebration & Controversy

Illustration by Denyah Harewood
Illustration by Denyah Harewood

As of Saturday, November 14, Vice-President Joe Biden continues to be the projected President-Elect by many news outlets, including CNN, the Associated Press, Fox News, NBC, and the New York Times. Multiple foreign countries have recognized President-Elect Biden.

Biden is the projected winner because of the number of electoral votes he has won, with 306 votes to President Trump’s 232 electoral votes.

These electoral results are the exact opposite of the 2016 election results, where Trump won the election with 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s final 232. Trump held on to North Carolina this year, which put him at a final of 232 electoral votes.

These results led to massive celebratory gatherings throughout the nation, most prominently in large cities like Times Square and in front of the White House.

But for each of these celebratory gatherings, there are Republicans and fervent Trump supporters protesting the current results of the election.
President Trump is not willing to concede so quickly. But his refusal to concede comes from his doubts of the integrity of the election. President Trump has claimed that he won based on only the legal votes and that the Democrats won due to a massive influx of illegal votes, meaning the mail-in ballots.

Many conservatives are arguing that the media has falsely declared Biden President-Elect because of the process of counting the votes of electors and verification by the Congress. Additionally, they argue that the election was flawed and was not an accurate representation of the American people because of the issues of mail-in ballots and outright voter fraud.

On November 13th, Trump supporters slowly occupied Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC and led to the Million MAGA March on November 14th to protest the results of the election and support President Trump. People of every ethnicity and race demonstrated their support for their president. Many far-right speakers and groups were there pushing the idea that the election was rigged, including Alex Jones from InfoWars and the Proud Boys.

On the way to his Virginia golf course, President Trump and his motorcade showed up at the march and President Trump waved but didn’t address the crowd. Unfortunately, counter-protesters eventually clashed with extremists, such as the Proud Boys, in the march ending the peaceful protest with violence.

In an attempt to win back votes or demonstrate the lack of integrity of the election, President Trump began to file lawsuits in hopes of keeping his office. Trump has two common demands in most of his court cases. The first is to halt the counting of votes in certain counties, usually those with a large Democratic majority. The second is about being able to observe the counting officials. Most courts have not ruled in favor of him regarding halting vote counts, but some ruled in favor of allowing for observers during the vote count process.

Pennsylvania has seen many of Trump’s lawsuits because of the delayed results and the huge influx of blue mail-in ballots. But in October before Election Day, the Supreme Court deemed it okay for the state to count absentee ballots up to the Friday after Election Day, raising controversy about the delays. There are three cases that are still under litigation covering the issues of identification proof, the validity of mail-in ballots, and the official end time of voting.

Michigan has seen many court cases over halting vote counts and certification of these votes. Though his lawyers are arguing that his campaign officials are unable to observe the counting process, the courts did not halt any counting or certification.

Arizona is dealing with lawsuits over bleed marks on ballots that lead to the controversy over sharpie usage. This is significant because the Trump campaign believes that votes rejected for these ink stains may have caused the slight Democratic lead in the state, losing 11 electoral votes for Trump.

Prior to November 7th, the nation waited on the results of Nevada. Then Georgia became the center of attention with the blue flip. The state has decided to recount by hand their nearly 5 million votes to avoid any controversies with machines and fraud.

In addition to potentially affecting the Presidential Race, Georgia is the last state to vote for senators, which determines which party has the majority in the Senate. Their Senate elections on November 3rd did not see a candidate with an outright majority, resulting in a runoff ballot (second round) on January 5th. The other Senate seat is also to be voted on January 5th due to a special election because of the 2019 resignation of Johnny Isakson. These last two seats determine if there will be a Republican-majority Senate, or a half and half split.

The largest of President Trump’s allegations is outright fraud and other irregularities that cost him the office. As of now, no court has supported Trump in these lawsuits claiming fraud because of the lack of evidence that the Trump campaign provided. The least controversial of his actions to contest the current results of the election are the recounts that he has requested, which are allowed if the vote margin is 1% or less. His campaign already formally requested a recount in Wisconsin where the difference in votes is about 20,000 or .7%. But the recounts are likely to not be effective in swinging a state. In the past 20 years, only three out of thirty-one recounts have affected the result of a race, and of those three the margin was less than 0.05%.

Some of the most prominent claims that the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent to include the massive spike of over 100,000 Democratic votes and the deletion of millions of Trump votes by Dominion, a major voting machine manufacturer. The spike of votes was briefly true as the 153,710 votes were really 15,317 votes that were multiplied by a clerical error. Dominion Voting Systems denies deleting any votes and many media sources and people are calling the claim of deletions a baseless accusation.

Trump’s inner circle is already fragmenting over his refusal to accept the results of the election. His family has become increasingly divided with First Lady Melania and Jared Kushner (Ivanka’s husband) urging him to accept a Biden victory and his sons Eric and Donald Jr. who are pushing for a second term for their father

If President Trump’s court cases and lawsuits do go as he planned, he may gain some votes and potentially entire states. But Biden’s lead has grown over the course of these two weeks and the previously red state of Georgia has turned blue, guaranteeing a Biden Administration in 2021.