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 rendering of a proposed housing development located across from the beachfront in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Multi-residential development planned across from Qualicum Beach waterfront

Residents raise variety of concerns about project

Proprietor of Sweet Truck, Morgan Ray, as she hands off her baked goods to a customer. (Photo courtesy of Avrinder Dhillon Photography)
COVID-19: Qualicum Beach baker eyes move back from food truck to bricks and mortar

Storefront offers more stability amid growth in sales: Ray

The Town of Qualicum Beach will put aside money for future purchase of electric vehicle and to put up charging stations. (Photo Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions)
Qualicum Beach to put aside funds for purchase of electric vehicles, charging stations

Citizens can donate funds to help reduce emissions in town

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read