News & Commentary

As many expected, presidential contest not settled after Election Day

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. remains in uncertainty about the presidential race after Election Day, as a counting of the vote continues, showing Democratic candidate Joe Biden ahead in electoral votes, but not by much.

By 7 a.m. Nov. 4, projected results from The Associated Press showed Biden ahead with 227 electoral votes compared to incumbent Republican President Donald Trump’s 213. To win, a candidate needs to reach 270.

Results in states rich in electoral votes such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin remained unsettled with millions of votes still being counted. But it didn’t stop Trump from declaring an early victory and making comments about getting the Supreme Court involved, prompting outcry from Republicans and Democrats.

“Frankly, we did win this election,” the president told supporters gathered at the White House at 2 a.m. Nov. 4, adding that “we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court” and saying, “We want all voting to stop.”

But even supporters of the president and members of his party protested the comments. Mail-in votes postmarked by Election Day are accepted in several states and many are typically counted in the hours or day after the election, making it unclear what the president was referring to or what legal challenge he could possibly raise.

“All these votes have to be counted that are in now. … Tonight was not the time to make this argument,” said Republican Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, who has helped Trump with his campaign. “I disagree with what he did tonight.”

“Stop. Full stop. The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that. Patience is a virtue,” Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois wrote on Twitter, referencing a tweet by the president that said, “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!”

Biden urged calm.

“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who has won this election,” Biden said to a group of his supporters gathered at a drive-in rally in Wilmington, Delaware. “That’s the decision of the American people.”

While many expected unrest, many U.S. cities that had been boarded up prior to Election Day remained calm. Most of the angst was reserved for Twitter where Benedictine Sister Catherine Wybourne, of the United Kingdom, who goes by the handle @Digitalnun tweeted early the day after the election:

“One of the (many) good things about living in a #monastery: we don’t have to listen to incessant news updates about #politics. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tune out of the noise & tune into the silence, wherever you are.”

By Rhina Guidos | Catholic News Service


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