As Election Day (and the next day!) nears its end, the outcome of the presidential race still isn’t clear.
As it stands just after 2am on the East Coast, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has won 214 electoral votes to President Donald Trump’s 201, according to Decision Desk HQ. The New York Times has Biden at 213 electoral votes and Trump at 145. To win, either needs 270 electoral votes.
States whose results remain too close to call according to both the Times and Decision Desk include Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona.
Fox News has given Arizona to Biden, but other networks have yet to call it.
Officials in Wisconsin have said they won’t know results until tomorrow; Michigan says it will need until Friday, Saleha Mohsin of Bloomberg reports. Pennsylvania is also not likely to have completed tallying results for hours, possibly days. Georgia officials have said they are in the same position.
The delays are due in part to exceptionally high turnout and unprecedented early and absentee voting, as well as the fact that many states prohibit counting early and absentee ballots until polls close.
This year’s election has seen historic rates of mail-in and early voting, largely inspired by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus that’s killed roughly a quarter-million Americans led many to eschew voting in person on Election Day.
This isn’t the first time that the presidential election results weren’t official by the end of the day. It’s only been in the modern era that results were called on the same day as voting; historically, votes took days or even weeks to tabulate by hand. In contemporary times, the 2000 election is an infamous example of a presidential race being inconclusive for many weeks after the election. (This time, though, Florida was called early.)
Some believe that the delayed results increase the risk that Trump will contest the election. The Republican incumbent has refused to say whether he will accept the results, much as he did in 2016, and has repeatedly, and without evidence, sought to cast doubt on election integrity.
In a tweet on election night, Trump expressed confidence in the outcome, saying the campaign is “looking really good all over the country.” Later, Trump claimed without evidence that Democrats were trying to steal the election and again indicated he was confident in a win. As it had vowed, Twitter put a warning over the tweet for containing “disputed” or “misleading” information about an election.
At 11:40pm CT, Biden made his first public statement of the night to supporters in Wilmington, Delaware.
“Your patience is commendable. We knew this was going to go long,” he said.
“We feel good about where we are. We really do. I’m here to tell you tonight, we believe we’re on track to win this election.”
Biden also urged patience, saying that the early and mail-in vote would take a while to count.
“It ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”
Election officials are now saying that it may be days, potentially weeks, before Americans find out whether Biden or Trump will be president on Jan. 21, 2021.
At 1:22am CT Trump took the stage and said his voters were being disenfranchised by a “sad group” of people, although he did not elaborate, claiming they were winning up until the race was “called off.”
Trump reeled off a set of states that haven’t been called and claimed there was no way he could be caught. Trump then claimed a victory that is not yet there.