As Election Day closed, President Trump incorrectly declared himself the winner of the 2020 presidential election early Wednesday morning. Despite the announcement, there is no evidence to support his claim. Election officials are still hard at work processing and tabulating millions of ballots, and every single vote will be counted in accordance with applicable state laws before a definitive winner can be declared.
The facts are clear. Polls have closed across America and no new votes have been cast. The President has actively conflated casting a ballot and ballot counting — two distinct processes. President Trump made various erroneous claims in his statement and relied on incomplete data from several states in his claim that he has already won the election. These claims are an extension of the President’s years long misinformation campaign that has taken aim at our election system and that sows doubts among voters.
The President stated that results are inconclusive in Pennsylvania and Michigan, then proceeded to assert that he prevailed in those states and others where election officials are still hard at work processing and tabulating millions of ballots. Every vote must be counted in accordance with applicable laws before a definitive winner can be declared.
The constitution leaves much of the administration of elections to the states and that system must be respected as it has been in every election prior to the one this year. Each state also has specific election laws related to processing, adjudication, tabulation, and more that must be followed.
For American democracy to continue as it has since its inception, every ballot cast by an eligible voter must be counted.
The National Vote At Home Institute recommends using non-partisan sources for tracking vote totals such as University of Florida Professor Michael McDonald’s Elect Project.