Questions linger about what happens next in presidential election amid vote counts, legal challenges

Posted at 9:59 PM, Nov 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-07 21:59:41-05

While many are congratulating President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their historic White House win, questions remain about what happens next amid the ongoing vote count in a handful of states and legal challenges raised by President Donald Trump’s campaign.

“This election is not over. Trump's got this, it's going to court,” said Sean Hanna, a Trump supporter.

“My big promise was to live long enough to vote on Nov. 3 and now I have to have another goal which is to see Biden inaugurated,” said a Biden supporter.

As supporters on both sides react to the Biden/Harris win, there are still some wondering about the outcome as the ballot count continues in some states.

“The election is called by AP news and some other news outlets largely based on the number of votes there will be counted compared to the margin of difference between two candidates,” said Tom Sutton, News 5’s political analyst.

Sutton said Biden was able to clinch the win after pulling ahead in Pennsylvania and securing its 20 electoral votes.

“99% of the vote has been counted. And there's a difference of 34,458 votes in favor of Joe Biden. That's out of 6.6 million votes cast,” Sutton said.

Those results were called despite Trump’s campaign filing a number of lawsuits in key states, including Pennsylvania.

“We want to see the cheating stop,” said Adam Radogna, a Trump supporter.

“I think the legal challenges are a bit of a sham,” said Thomas Mays, a Biden supporter.

Some of those legal challenges asked for ballot counting to stop, citing widespread voter fraud as the reason.

“I don't see the lawsuits really having much of an impact,” Sutton said. “Unless evidence is presented that’s solid, that something untoward was happening or that there's a mistake or a question about how the counting is taking place, then they have no case.”

So far, no such evidence has been presented.

But recounts are a likely possibility Sutton said because of slim vote margins in a handful of states. Those all have to be done by the end of November at the latest, which means more waiting.

Sutton said this isn’t the first and won’t be the last time that the nation has experienced this, but he said it's for the best of reasons.

“We've had this happen in the past with the presidency and certainly with House and Senate races,” Sutton said. “The bottom line is Americans came together to see the importance of voting. For all of us that should be seen as a positive sign, even if it means having to wait to get these returns.”

On Jan. 6, the new Congress will meet to receive and certify the electoral college votes and officially announce the winner. Then, that person—presumed to be President-Elect Biden—will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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