Election workers count absentee ballots into the early morning, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 in Milwaukee at a central counting facility. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

Election workers count absentee ballots into the early morning, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 in Milwaukee at a central counting facility. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

VIDEO: There’s no winner in the U.S. presidential race. That’s OK

The delay doesn’t signify a positive for one side or the other

America woke up Wednesday morning without a winner of the presidential election. That’s OK.

Critical battleground states including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania remained without declared winners, leaving both President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden short of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

This isn’t necessarily a surprise. In a year turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, many states made it easier to vote by mail, and millions chose to do so rather than venturing out to cast ballots in person. That meant a slowdown in the tabulation of results because votes received by mail often take longer to process than ballots cast at polling places.

And the closer the margin in a state is, the more votes are needed for The Associated Press to declare a winner.

There are also roughly 20 states that allow ballots received after Election Day to be counted if they were postmarked by the day of the election. That includes Pennsylvania, one of the key outstanding states.

Some states, including Florida, began counting absentee ballots days before Election Day — and had definitive results within hours of the polls closing. The AP declared Trump the winner in Florida.

The abundance of absentee ballots also has thrown into doubt historical norms, making the arc of the race harder to determine — though one political narrative that held for sure is that the country remains evenly divided between both parties.

None of that means there is anything wrong with the results, or any reason to doubt the vote-counting process. It just means the country doesn’t know who won the presidential election for the time being.

And we don’t yet know when we’ll know.

The delay doesn’t signify a positive for one side or the other — even though it has provoked radically different reactions from each.

Biden took an outdoor stage in Delaware shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday and said the country needed more time to determine its next president, declaring, “Your patience is commendable.”

“We knew because of the unprecedented early vote, the mail-in vote, that it was going to take awhile,” Biden said. “We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying the votes is finished, and it ain’t over until every vote is counted.”

READ MORE: Trump prematurely claims victory as world waits nervously, impatiently for U.S. vote count

Trump spent months railing against expanding mail-in voting and suggesting without evidence that it could lead to widespread fraud, while imploring with equal fervour that the election should have a result on the same night the polls closed. In the early morning hours of Wednesday, he told a crowd of cheering supporters at the White House that he would challenge the election results before the Supreme Court, though it was unclear exactly what type of legal challenge he was proposing.

That prompted a statement from Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillion, who said: “If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort. And they will prevail.”

Vote tabulations routinely continue beyond Election Day, and states largely set the rules for when the count has to end.

The U.S. has endured a presidential race without an immediate winner before. In 2000, a Supreme Court ruling on Dec. 12 — more than a month after Election Day — ended the Florida recount and awarded the presidency to Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.

This time, media outlets including The Associated Press and others frequently warned a delayed verdict could occur — suggesting that an election where campaigning was so disrupted wouldn’t escape seeing its conclusion get scrambled as well.

EXPLAINING RACE CALLS: U.S. presidential race too early to call

___

Will Weissert, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Donald TrumpJoe BidenUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

Darrell RIchards and his Harley Davidson Streetglide in front of Discovery House in Penticton on Nov. 5. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton biker still in running to win custom chopper competition

Darrell Richards is sitting in first in the final round of the group stage

Gifts are being collected for the 50th annual Operation Santa Claus gift drive. New unwrapped items may be dropped off at the Summerland Review or McBain Insurance in Summerland. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Gifts collected for Summerland’s Operation Santa Claus

Summerland Review and McBain Insurance working on 50th annual holiday gift drive

(Phil Mclachlan - Western News file)
Emergency crews responding to overturned boat on Okanagan Lake

The boat, reported near Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, had two occupants

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

(Village of Lumby photo)
Mysterious, loud ‘boom’ shakes North Okanagan residents

Village staff, Earthquakes Canada aren’t sure what caused the explosion-like sound

Clarence Fulton students collect cash and non-perishable food donations for families in need in their community Friday, Nov. 27. (Jennifer Smith  - Morning Star)
North Okanagan students collect food for families in need

Annual event to support nine school families this year

Take a break from the slopes to discover the rich culture and diversity of Vernon. Michelle Beaudry photo, courtesy Tourism Vernon.
Tourism Vernon could see 40% cut to budget due to COVID-19

New approach to help residents and visitors activate their adventures

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penticton law courts
Osoyoos child sex offender in court

Shawn Titus, 37, is charged with possession of child porn

Leighton Allen Labute faces charges of animal abuse and allegedly has a string of social media accounts depicting disturbing content.
Accused Kelowna hamster killer has trial date set for 2021

Leighton Labute’s three day trial is scheduled for Aug. 16, 2021

Most Read