WASHINGTON, D.C. – A full month has passed but the winner of the 2020 Presidential race remains murky. Meanwhile, significant dates loom on the horizon with both sides fully entrenched in their positions and no concessions from either camp.
BIDEN WIN DECLARED BY MEDIA/CAMPAIGN
The Biden campaign and national media (networks, publications and social media) declared Biden the President-Elect within days of the vote. Since then, Biden has begun selecting cabinet appointments and nominees to other administrative positions.
POTUS ALLEGES FRAUD
At the same time, the Trump campaign alleges widespread election fraud and has spent the last week in hearings in front of state legislatures presenting evidence, in the form of thousands of sworn affidavits, live testimony from election workers, and even surveillance video. Contested states include Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada – although some Trump campaign attorneys says many other states may also have fraudulent tallies.
President Trump appeared in a pre-recorded video address to the nation on Wednesday outlining his concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election. The 45-minute message was largely ignored by national media but was available for online viewing. Trump plans to attend a rally in Georgia on Saturday on behalf of two republican senate candidates. Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is in a special election contest with Democrat challenger Raphael Warnock. Republican Senator David Perdue is up against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Neither Loeffler or Perdue received a required 50% of the votes to avoid a runoff in January. To date, nearly $100 million has been poured into the campaigns of the four candidates.
In addition to the hearings before state legislatures, Trump legal teams have filed lawsuits in several states contesting the election results and at least one at the U.S. Supreme Court with more likely to follow.
ELECTORAL COLLEGE PROCEDURES
Important dates approach. The U.S. Constitution establishes that by December 8, 2020 states must make decisions and resolve any controversies over the appointment of their electors. On December 14, 2020 the electors record their votes on six Certificates of Vote (paired with Certificates of Ascertainment) – with the sets being forwarded to the President of the Senate and the Archivist no later than December 23, 2020. The Archivist transfers the Certificates (on or before January 3, 2021) to Congress which meets in joint session to count and announce the votes on January 6, 2021. 270 electoral votes are needed to win the presidency.
Another variable in the mix is if some of the individual state legislatures determine that fraud may have occurred and decide to go against the popular vote total and appoint their own electors.
THE SUPREME COURT FACTOR
The big unknown is whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear or act on any of the fraud claims by the Trump campaign. And beyond that, what the outcome of any decision(s) would be. The most recent precedent was Bush vs. Gore in 2000. The Court could declare sufficient fraud in various states and invalidate the election.
AND WE WAIT
So as time passes, millions of voters, supporting their respective candidates, wait on the sidelines – many without reliable sources of media information to support their political position, holding their breath and wondering who will be their President at Noon, January 20. 2021 – Inauguration Day in the United States of America.