Joe Biden, the president-elect of the United States, has been projected winner of the state of Arizona, extending his lead over incumbent President Donald Trump to 290 against 217 electoral votes. But Trump is showing no signs of concession.
If Trump eventually concedes the election, it will be one of the latest concession calls in recent US history.
Biden is the second Democrat to win the state of Arizona in over 70 years — no Democrat won the state since Harry Truman did in 1948, until Bill Clinton narrowly won it in 1996, and Biden in 2020.
The strongly Republican state is home to party bigwigs like John McCain, who ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008; and Barry Goldwater, 1964 presidential nominee credited to have revived America’s conservative political movement.
Trump, who lost the Republican state, had said he won some of the states projected for Biden, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The president had alleged voter fraud, suggesting that some of his votes were counted for Biden.
In a tweet on Thursday, the president claimed that “2.7 million Trump votes” were deleted nationwide. He said data analysis found that 221,000 of his votes were switched to Biden by the voting system software in Pennsylvania.
Trump added that 941,000 of his votes were deleted entirely, while 435,000 were switched for Biden nationwide. If these claims were true, they would have no effect on the popular vote with Biden leading Trump with almost five million votes. But they could affect the Electoral College votes — and lead to an unprecedented situation in US history.
The questions many people around the world are asking now is when would this stop? Is there a possibility of Trump winning any legal battle? Will recounts change anything?
Here's a timeline of what happens next — and when all these will be over.
TIMELINE OF WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
November 11 — 23: Mail-in ballots (votes by mail) with a postmark (or stamp as Nigerians would call it) dated November 3, 2020, can be received by every US state and counted within this period. So fresh votes (sent on or before November 3, 2020) can still be received today and up until November 23, and still, be counted in many states. In Georgia for example, final vote count must be known by November 20 — three days earlier than a state like Pennsylvania.
December 8: Under the Electoral Count Act, this is date is referred to as the “safe harbor” deadline when every state is expected to have counted its votes and certified winners.
According to election expert Meena Bose, “this is when states are supposed to complete their vote counting and select their electors”. The deadline “assumes that there’s been no conflict and there is a clear decision”.
December 14: The law says electoral votes should be cast on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. For 2020, this would be December 14.
“On Monday, December 14th, the electors meet in their state capitals to cast their ballots,” Bose adds. Strange as it may sound, the people vote for electors, electors vote for the president. Convention, however, expects the electors from each state to vote in the direction the state has voted.
Electors are chosen by the winning party. For example, the Democratic Party, which won in Arizona, chooses the 11 electors who are expected to vote for Biden on December 14. If any of them choose to vote for Trump, they will be called “faithless electors”.
There were 10 faithless electors in 2016 election, costing Hillary Clinton five electoral votes, Trump lost two votes, three others voted for Colin Powell. The votes were inconsequential to the overall results.
December 23: The Electoral College votes from every state must arrive in Washington. The certified Electoral College votes have nine days to get transported from the states to Capitol Hill.
January 3: Members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate take the oath of office. They will be the 117th congress in US history.
Jan. 6: On Wednesday, January 6, 2020 the Electoral College votes are announced in Congress by the senate president, which is the vice president. That will be Vice-President Mike Pence — not Kamala Harris, who will still be VP-elect at the time.
If by some magic done by faithless electors, no candidate gets 270 or both candidates get 269 votes each, the 435 members of the house of representatives will decide the election. By January 6, a winner should be known.
All lawsuits by the Trump campaign should have been laid to rest at this point.
It should, however, be noted that the House has until noon on January 20 to pick the president — if any of the scenarios above play out.
January 20: A new president — going by the current vote count, Joe Biden — takes the oath of office at noon.
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