U.S. 2020 election results trickle in after intense race

The 2020 United States election took place on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The Presidential race stole the spotlight, though several key Senate, House and Gubernatorial races also took place. The election results will not be finalized for several days due to the large number of mail-in and absentee ballots submitted this year.
Races will continue to be called as votes are counted over the next few. A definitive answer to the question of who the next U.S. President will be will not be clear for at least the next few days.
The outcome of the Presidential race will come down to the result in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina. Each state has differing rules regarding how votes are counted and what date mail-in ballots are counted until. As a result, the Presidential race will potentially not be called until Friday Nov. 6. Although this delay seems long, an election has actually never been called on the same night. “Not knowing the official results on election night is normal,” says Dr. Brian Fitzpatrick, Assistant Professor of Political Science at West Liberty University. The Associated Press will only call a race when the losing candidate can no longer catch up. “From what I’ve heard so far we will very likely know the result by tomorrow [Thursday] night, but if it comes down to PA, it could be Friday,” said Fitzpatrick.
Though the uncertainty is frustrating, it is not by any means a surprise. “I think it was to be expected,” said Olivia Montgomery, a student at West Liberty University. “We all knew it would be an exceptionally tight race and the excess of mail-in ballots was always going to slow down the process. At this point, we all just need to respect the process and patiently wait for democracy to decide who will be leading us for the next four years.”
That being said, the increase of mail-in and absentee votes in this election, due to people opting to vote remotely as a result of COVID-19, has led to a longer than the normal process for vote counting. “It is a privilege to olive in a country where we get to decide. With that being said, we should wait until every single vote is counted to call a winner. That is the basis of democracy,” said WLU student, Riley Lohan.
The fear of mail-in ballots not being counted properly hit many people. “The uncertainty of whether or not my vote actually counted is very discouraging,” said Kelly Milner, a WLU graduate student.
West Liberty student Daniella DelCorso from Pennsylvania said, “I did not want to do a mail-in vote because I knew there were delays in the mail due to COVID. So, I trusted my parents more to hand in my ballot to make sure my vote 100% counted.”
Many voters still chose to go to the polls in person, like West Liberty graduate student Kaelyn Oskin who voted in Pennsylvania. “I’ve worked as a poll worker before. There were always around three of us working every election. This year, there were around twelve workers at my polling station – the line was into the parking lot,” she said. “This was partly because of social distancing, but also because of all the people voting.”
Others had a different experience. Heather Hale, a West Liberty student who voted in West Virginia said, “There was no wait and I expected one. Went in and checked in, got my sticker, the guy told me what I needed to do and offered help, I did my voting and then left.” The process and vote counting rules differ by state.
As of writing this article, results are still not confirmed for Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania. In each of these states, the gap between Trump and Biden is very slim. Trump currently leads in all four remaining states bar Nevada which is currently favoring Biden. However, as outstanding mail-in ballots continue to be counted, the results could swing either way.
To win the Presidency, a candidate needs to win 270 electoral college votes. As of writing, Biden has 264, and Trump has 214. If Biden is successful in Nevada, which is worth six electoral college votes, he will have enough to win office. Trump needs to win all four remaining states in order to breach the 270 thresholds. The race is so tight in some places however that recounts may be demanded by either party.
West Virginia gave its five electoral college votes to Trump. The current President won 69% of the vote in the Mountain State. Governor Jim Justice has also been reelected, as has Republican Senator Kelly Moore Capito. All three West Virginia House of Representative seats have gone to candidates from the GOP.
The Democrats are currently set to maintain their majority in the US House of Representatives. The Senate race is much closer with both party’s well within the realm of possibility of gaining a majority.
Check back in for election updates as results come in.