A lot of record-breaking things took place this election: the largest number of people ever voted, one of the closest elections, the first woman (who is also black and of Indian descent) to become vice president-elect, and an incumbent losing the race, which hasn't happened for nearly three decades. And despite Joe Biden being decided as the winner President Donald Trump has yet to concede and insists that he won. Trump is challenging the outcome in courts saying that there was fraud, especially as related to mail-in ballots.
We are witnessing an unprecedented situation that many of us have not witnessed in our lifetimes. Of course being the first time to do an election during a pandemic, since the Spanish flu, it is expected to create new challenges, and that is part of the reason for a lot of the confusion going on. The last time the election results were delayed happened in 2000, in the race between George Bush and Al Gore, when Florida had to do a recount of the votes. It ended when Bush used the Supreme Court to stop the counting of votes and Gore conceded. We later learned that Gore had actually won. This time it's different because the race is very close in several states. And because of the pandemic, we have an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots that have to be counted, a process that's apparently more difficult and time-consuming than regular ballots.
Normally in past elections, there was no need to wait for every last vote to be counted before declaring a winner for each state. Even this time most states got declared to Trump or Biden without all votes being counted. It was only the states where the race was very close, due to the number of votes remaining being greater than the difference between both candidates. That is why we still have some states not decided, Georgia for example is doing a recount. But since Biden already got enough states to give him the 270 electoral college votes needed, it doesn't change the outcome if he wins or loses in the remaining states.
Some people may wonder why a lot of the votes that were being counted after the election were from Democrat strongholds, or that the majority of them were Biden votes. The answer is pretty straightforward, and the pandemic plays a part. In general, Republicans always get the rural vote and Democrats the urban vote. In rural areas there is less population and therefore less number of votes to be counted, so those counties or municipalities can count their votes faster, simply because there are fewer votes. The second reason is that due to the pandemic a record number of people voted by mail or voted early, creating a bigger challenge especially because some states do not count their mail-in/early votes until election day. What's more, about half of the states allow mail-in ballots to be received later than election day, as long as they were mailed by election day, further delaying the count.
It's not clear what the Trump administration will use as a legal challenge in most states where he is disputing the results. In Pennsylvania, it appears they will challenge the constitutionality of the decision to delay the receipt of mail-in ballots, which the Supreme Court could weigh in. Though the Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina had the right to accept mailed ballots until November 12. The Trump administration already filed several lawsuits, some of which were thrown out, but it's not clear if these legal challenges will end up changing the outcome of the election.
It will be interesting to see how these court challenges play out in the coming days. I'm sure everyone is hopeful that we do not go through frivolous legal challenges that will keep the country in limbo. We must remember that while battles for electoral college votes go on, a majority of the American people voted for Biden, as he won the popular vote by a margin of over four million votes so far.