Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Every vote matters in a divided contest

Filed on November 5, 2020
Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice-President of the United States of America.

(Don Mennig / Alamy Stock Photo)

The uncertainty around the results is expected to test the strength of America’s democratic institutions

For a country that has been accustomed to news outlets projecting the winner of presidential race on Election Night, the delay in knowing the results of the most anticipated news has brought more anxiety to people. As things stand, it might take a few more days or even weeks to get an official tally of the votes. In a nail-biting fight, these elections have shattered the hope of Democrats to have a clear-cut majority and even US President Donald Trump’s claim of a decisive victory over Biden. It’s a different case altogether. Trump, in his trademark style, prematurely announced that he has won the election and would go directly to the Supreme Court to get the counting stopped. By making statements like “This is a fraud on the American people”, Trump continues to undermine the electorate system that has been one of the biggest strengthens of the country. His comments have humiliated the efforts of the electorate who have cast their vote from far and wide, despite the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Americans have faith in the system, and hope that the power of ballot can turn the wheels of time. Yet, Trump has continued to behave in the same manner as he has over the last four years in office. Unsubstantiated claims were made throughout the day, even when countered by facts.

Officials in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have said that they do not expect to declare winners in a few hours, and counting could stretch later into the week. There are more than a million votes that are yet to be counted. The uncertainty around the results is expected to test the strength of America’s democratic institutions. It is not the first time that the result of a presidential election has remained in doubt. In 2000, when George W. Bush and Al Gore contested elections for presidency, the results in Florida were resolved by the Supreme Court just three days before the electoral college met in December. It was a close race, ultimately decided by the difference of a little more than 500 votes. However, at that time both the candidates had faith in democratic institutions and were eager to protect it. Trump, on the other hand, had been undermining it even before Election Day. Like Biden said, “It ain’t over till every vote is counted.” It’s not just the Americans that will be waiting with bated breath, but world at large.

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