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

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Last year’s Toys for Tots and Teens was a huge success as was high school driven . Because of COVID restrictions, it can’t happen this year but organizers, including high school students, have come up with a two-week campaign called Penticton Provides. (submitted)
Pen High’s 10,000 Tonight food drive cancelled, replaced by bigger ‘Penticton Provides’

New campaign of caring during COVID will go from Nov. 26 to Dec. 10

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Masks required at all Penticton facilities, including the gym and pool

New provincial order requires masks at all public facilities

Penticton Search and Rescue along with the Penticton Fire Department located and airlifted an injured 21-year-old female hiker Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Mike Biden photo)
Penticton search and rescue airlifts injured hiker off mountain

There has been an unprecedented amount of calls for search and rescue this year

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

A concept rendering of the proposed Costco at the corner of Baron, Leckie and Springfield roads. (WSP Global)
Contentious Kelowna Costco relocation moved to public hearing

Costco looking to move less than a kilometre away to build a larger store with more parking, gas bar

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B&E, stolen car in Vernon lands Whitehorse man in cuffs

Suspect takes off on foot in attempts to evade arrest

Salmon Arm RCMP nabbed two Calgary suspects in an allegedly stolen vehicle on Highway 1 on Nov. 22, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP use spike belts on Highway 1 to nab Calgary suspects

Arrests occur after Revelstoke RCMP clock allegedly stolen vehicle going faster than 160 km/h

RCMP stayed with the vehicle until it was towed to a secure lot. (Black Press file photo)
Armoured truck carrying millions of dollars crashes near Princeton

The incident occurred after the truck hit an elk on the road

Most Read