A week after Election Day, almost all U.S. states have counted and reported enough ballots to call their respective elections. Joe Biden maintained his lead over President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning after receiving some 5 million more votes than the incumbent Republican candidate, according to the Associated Press. The results of the individual ballots in three states are not yet known, as Georgia is preparing for a mandatory recount and the deadlines for receiving postal votes in Alaska and North Carolina have not yet expired.
Local election officials continued the vote count into the weekend. The results prompted major news agencies to declare Biden and California Senator Kamala Harris as the likely winners of the presidential and vice presidential elections. The AP announced the Democrats’ likely victory on Saturday when it called the Pennsylvania race for Biden. His victory in the critical state on the battlefield earned Biden 20 votes, pushing him above the required minimum of 270 votes nationwide.
Trump declared himself the winner of the presidential election shortly after the polls closed last Tuesday, and in subsequent public speeches continued to insist that Democratic corruption and “illegal” ballots tabulated in the major swing states that voted for Biden were responsible for his opponent’s predicted triumph. His campaign filed a series of lawsuits alleging that election officials in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere improperly tabulated votes. Many pointed to the inadequacy of the trials, and several judges dismissed the lawsuits shortly after they were filed.
Trump requested a recount in Georgia, where state law allows the losing party to do so if the ballot count shows that their opponent won with a margin of less than 0.5 percent. Given the state’s tense race this year, Biden led the count on Tuesday with about 12,000 votes or 0.2 percent – Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger said last Friday in comments to reporters that Georgia would conduct a recount. Georgia was one of several states where the first ballots gave Trump an early lead, which steadily decreased as the week progressed with the collection and counting of postal votes.
The president and his campaign accused Georgia of tabulating illegitimate ballots in a complaint filed after election day. A judge later dismissed the suit, but Republican senators in the state continued to support Trump’s claims and subsequently demanded Raffensperger’s resignation on Monday. The Secretary of State said “this will not happen” and noted that the outcome of the election in Georgia “is unlikely” to change after the investigation into allegedly illegal voting and the recounting of the state’s ballots is completed. Trump’s campaign has called on the state to carry out the recount by hand instead of by machine.
In Alaska and North Carolina, where advisory bodies oversee the election process, Tuesday’s elections remained uncalled. The deadlines for both states to receive postal ballots have not yet expired. In North Carolina, voting departments can tabulate ballots received by November 12, provided they are stamped by November 3. District election officials will complete the counting of the last ballots on Friday, a spokesman for the North Carolina State Election Commission confirmed to Washington Newsday. It is planned that the committee will confirm the results on November 24.
By Tuesday morning, Alaska had only reported 50 percent of its votes, and election officials have until November 18 to complete their count. The ballots collected so far show trump cards in both states that would offer him 18 votes if confirmed. Biden’s vote count was 290, compared to Trumps 214 early Tuesday.
Washington Newsday contacted Raffensperger’s office and the Alaska Division of Elections for additional comments, but did not receive a response in time for publication.