Spanish – In both politics and soccer, the game is played until it is over. And the game in the United States is not over. When the time was right, the commentators ventured to proclaim a winner. However, in stoppage time, the ball continues to roll, and an unexpected move can flip or adjust the score.
Arbitration justice also often plays an important role – now aided in soccer by the use of technology. President Donald Trump will count to the last second – in this case – the last vote and then ask for a review of the game in the Supreme Court, the equivalent of the controversial VAR in soccer.
Joe Biden is not the president-elect of the United States. The Democrat is the candidate projected by the media as the winner of the election, according to statistics that point to that probability. This is the reality even though several heads of state have congratulated him, and he has updated his Twitter profile.
A long time off
For the Electoral College to declare a candidate as president-elect, state voters are required to cast their ballots, and this will not happen until December 14, as explained by France24 in an article titled, What happens if elections are challenged in the United States?
On November 3, the popular election was held. However, the popular vote does not directly determine who wins the presidency. To be elected president of the United States, the candidate must obtain at least 270 of the 538 electoral votes. The popular vote choose by state the 538 members of the Electoral College who will cast their votes to elect the president. All electors in a state traditionally vote for the most voted party in that state, except in Maine and Nebraska, where they are apportioned proportionally.
Although each of the 50 states has its own rules, federal law sets a common deadline for the completion of the process. November 23 is the deadline for receiving absentee and overseas ballots from voters who were unable to vote in person. December 12 is the deadline for certification of results. This usually determines how state voters will vote. And finally, on December 14, that state voters cast their ballots.
Given the complexity of the process that is not yet complete, it can be said that there is no elected president in the United States. There is a candidate projected as an eventual winner. It must be taken into account that in the United States there is not one electoral body but 50 state bodies with different regulations. This also makes it impossible to officially declare a winner until all 538 state voters cast their votes.
The Final Vote
Another aspect that cannot be overlooked is the fact that state voters are not required to vote for the candidate who received the most votes in a given state. In other words, the popular vote is not binding. Although there has been a tradition for over a century that state voters vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in a given state, this may not be the case, and it may still be constitutional.
The law ensures that ultimately, it is the state legislature that decides to which candidate delegates are assigned, clarifies BBC World. The publication also explains that due to the controversy surrounding the allegations of fraud made by President Donald Trump, it cannot be ruled out that in some states where the Republican Party controls the state legislature, the state legislature may not accept as valid the results of the elections in their state. If this situation arises, the state legislature could assign the Republican candidate the delegates to the Electoral College.
The next stage moves to the Capitol. The newly elected U.S. Congress settles in Washington on January 3, 2021, and on January 6 calls a joint session, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, to certify the election results.
On January 20, the succession process must inevitably be concluded. Even if the election is challenged in the courts, the federal constitution guarantees that the country will have a president by the day of the swearing-in.
If neither candidate achieves 270 electoral votes, the 12th Amendment provides that the House of Representatives elects the president and the Senate elects the vice president. This scenario has not occurred for 195 years. However, this does not seem to be the case today.
Everything seems to indicate that President Donald Trump will take advantage of this time off – taking up the analogy with soccer – to bet on a favorable adjustment in the popular vote through recounts that will allow him to add more electoral votes, to finally fight the difference in the Supreme Court.
Donald Trump will, of course, not settle for the 214 electoral votes added up so far. The count is not yet complete in Alaska, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. In the first two, Trump has a clear advantage, while in Georgia and Arizona, he is trailing Biden by just 0.2% points and 0.5% points, respectively.
Trump’s scores are clearly maintaining the lead until the close of the count in Alaska and North Carolina and turning around the narrow result in Georgia and Arizona. In this scenario, Trump would reach 259 electoral votes, and his battle would focus on taking Pennsylvania from Biden in court since this state provides 20 electoral votes, enough to pass the required 270. Nevada would not be enough for him to win since it only adds up to six.
Just this Monday, the candidate’s team of lawyers challenged the results in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. With this analysis, PanAm Post does not intend to ignore the results reported by the media or to dismiss the projection of Biden’s victory. It only seeks to clarify that the Democratic candidate is not yet officially president-elect and that in the 78 days between the election and the swearing-in, many things can happen. Although the scenario is quite complex for Donald Trump, the mathematical and arbitral probabilities are feasible, and the Republican leader will not take his shirt off until he hears the final whistle.