Three days after the polls closed, the United States and the world still do not have the final results of the presidential elections, although Democrat Joe Biden would be on the verge of defeating Donald Trump.
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The wait has fueled tension in an already highly polarized nation, with Trump claiming without evidence that Democrats are hatching fraud. But count delays are often due to state-specific reasons.
Competitive states take longer
California, the nation’s most populous state with nearly 40 million residents and a deep-rooted progressive tradition, was quickly attributed by the media to Biden after the polls closed on Tuesday.
But these types of estimates are not equivalent to official results and it takes much longer to get accurate data in states where the distances between the top two candidates are especially close.
“The tighter the competition, the longer it takes” to know the results, Kathy Boockvar, secretary of the vital state of Pennsylvania, told reporters.
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Each state also establishes different deadlines to receive votes by mail, especially those that come from members of the army or other citizens living abroad.
North Carolina, another key state, has yet to count at least 171,000 ballots, as by law it accepts votes that arrive by mail through Nov. 12, provided they are postmarked on Election Day. A sufficient quantity to define the final result.
But nevertheless, some local authorities prefer to wait for all the ballots to reach the circuits before starting the count.
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Nevada, where the distance between Biden and Trump is similarly tight, will count ballots with a Tuesday 3rd postmark as long as they arrive before Nov.10.
Also causing delays are the so-called “provisional” ballots, which require confirming, for example, the voter’s identification or whether the person voted where they belonged.
A deluge of correspondence votes
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, States used to a limited number of votes by mail have been inundated with ballots sent by citizens who do not want to risk voting in person.
Some 65.2 million of the 160 million voters who voted this year – a record – did so by correspondence, according to an estimate by US Elections Project.
In Pennsylvania, Republicans, the majority in local parliament, have rejected a proposal to start counting votes received by mail before Election Day, unlike other states that allow it.
In some places, particular factors play a role that further delay counting, as in Chatham County, Georgia, another hotly contested state, where a separate electoral division and registration board examine ballots.
Donald Trump’s campaign lashes out at these delays and has called for the suspension of vote counting in states where Biden is leading, especially in Pennsylvania, where the Republican Party has appealed to the Supreme Court.
They have been protesting there for months against a resolution that allows the ballots to be counted until this Friday.
In Wisconsin, where Biden was declared the winner on Wednesday, the local Supreme Court ruled that only votes received on Election Day would be counted.
Most states allow rival parties to observe the scrutiny, but some claims have also delayed the process.
In Philadelphia, the main city of Pennsylvania, a Democratic stronghold, supporters of Donald Trump have protested against a rule that requires observers to stay at least 15 feet apart from each other due to the risks of contagion from the COVID-19. 19.