By Dan Epelle Evelyn
WASHINGTON – According to projections by The Associated Press, AP, and NBC News, democratic nominee, Joe Biden, has defeated President Trump in the 2020 US presidential election after claiming 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and Vice President-elect Harris.” Biden has said in his comments acknowledging victory at the polls. A statement from Donald Trump has however indicated friction to the projected outcome with the President declaring: “The simple fact is this election is far from over.”
While estimates have shown Joe Biden to be next in line to lead the highly polarized nation through a historic collision of health, economic and social crises, an official certification has not been made and the vote count is still ongoing – and recounts are forthcoming. Beginning Monday, the Trump campaign will start prosecuting its case of electoral fraud in court to ‘ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,’ the Republicans have posited.
Between now and December 14, 2020, when the electoral college delegates in each state cast their votes for President and Vice President in a formality called “Certificates of the Vote”, President Trump will have an opportunity to make legal maneuvers, including building a strong legal position and presenting actual evidence of the purported election discrepancies.
With official proceedings to seat the 46th President of the United States forthcoming, some have questioned if the delegates of the electoral college can ‘vote for whoever they chose’ or if there is a requirement that they ‘vote for the vote winner’. The Supreme Court notes that “faithless electors” who vote contrary to the votes cast by those they represent can be fined – although technically, electors can vote for anyone. It also amounts to a gross breach of trust for an elector to go against state law made evident by the choice of citizens at the polls. Such an occurrence will undermine the collective and could certainly mean an elector will not be a delegate afterward, or ever again.
So far, there are nearly a dozen lawsuits filed by President Trump and his allies, working their way to invalidate enough ballots to erase Joe Biden’s leads there in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, and Georgia. To comply with the timeline of the Electoral College process, states must reach certified results for presidential & vice-presidential races on or before December 14.
In the meantime, there has been an outpouring of congratulatory messages for the president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris from world leaders including Canadian leader, Justin Trudeau; Irish Prime Minister, Micheál Martin; French President, Emmanuel Macron; President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, and UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. In France, Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, took to Twitter with a few words reading; “Welcome back America!”
Other viewpoints have also been expressed, with Russia’s Foreign Ministry earlier stating that the tight race was ‘a sign of weakness in the US electoral system’. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, took sides with the sentiment, via Twitter, noting that; “The situation in the US and what they themselves say about their elections is a spectacle!”
As mixed feeling continues to lead the way, the journey to the White House, while certain for Biden-Harris, remains tumultuous given the going circumstances.