I promised that I would not make this a political blog, and I intend on keeping that promise. With the last post like this, however, I also stated that there may be one more post, depending on how the election turns out. Well, considering that most of my audience on this blog is global, there is an incredible amount of misinformation and disinformation going on about the current US election, and because I can, I’m going to dispel a bit of disinformation that you may have heard. I am sure that outside of the US, there are very few credible sources that will tell you this, so I’m going to tell you this now.
Biden is not the President-Elect.
The way elections work in the US is not generally obvious, even to those who are citizens of the country, so those who are not would be completely excused for not knowing how our elections work. Traditionally, what happens is, the votes are counted in the individual states, a winner is projected, the loser graciously concedes, and everyone gets on with life. However, this is only true because someone conceded. In actuality, the votes continue to be counted until such time as the states certify the elections, then those certified results are used to select electors. Those electors are who actually chooses the president. This happens more than a month after the election.
If an election is disputed, a presumptive President is not chosen until all lawsuits and any other contesting of the results are resolved.
Trump did not concede. He instead decided to contest the election. Because he is doing so, a presumptive nominee cannot be chosen until all of the lawsuits are resolved. Those lawsuits may or may not lead to an overturning of the apparent results, but that’s not material. Until they are resolved, the election results are certified, the electors are seated, and their votes are cast, there is no President-Elect.There are some disputed results in a few states. Because of how elections work in the US, each state gets a certain number of electoral votes. Those votes are equal to the number of electors each state can seat to determine who becomes the next president. Because there are 538 total electoral votes, a candidate must have 270 or more electoral votes in order to take the presidency. If neither candidate can meet this threshold, one representative from each state is chosen by the individual state legislatures to vote for who becomes the president. As Republicans control the majority of those legislatures by a wide margin, Trump would then be installed as the president. Pennsylvania holds 20 electoral votes, and that is exactly the number of votes Biden needs to cross that threshold. If Pennsylvania would be overturned, Biden would be in far worse shape, and it would only take one other state to flip to give it to Trump.
Will Trump’s lawsuits succeed? No one knows. The courts are a fickle beast. But what we do know is that they have a chance of succeeding, and that is the important thing for this discussion. Trump has several paths to be President, still. Therefore, Biden is not the President-Elect, and don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.