It’s early November 5 and there is still no U.S. presidential election winner. Democratic candidate Joe Biden has a total of 253 electoral points, which puts him ahead of his Republican opponent, Donald Trump, with 213.
All eyes are on the state of Georgia, whose results will be key in defining the elections. The gap between candidates had narrowed today, November 5, to less than one point. That translates into Donald Trump barely leading his Democratic opponent Joe Biden by some 19,000 votes.
According to Gabriel Sterling, manager of the implementation of the voting system in that state, some 61,367 mail-in ballots are pending counting. The state aims to process them before noon, according to The New York Times.
What was voted on the ballots, besides the president?
In each state, several amendments were in the sights of voters: from legalizing marijuana in at least seven, to changing the gender language in the constitution in Utah or raising the minimum wage in Florida.
These are some of the amendments that were approved or denied in the elections, considering that the approval percentages are temporary, while all the votes are finished counting.
- Florida: Minimum wage of $15 an hour. Approved with 61% of the votes. Each year it will be increased by one dollar an hour until 15 dollars is reached in 2026.
- Nevada: Allowing same-sex marriage. Approved with 61.5%.
- Nevada: Increase in renewable energy. Approved with 56.4%.
- California: Restoring the vote of ex-convicts. Approved with 59.1%. A similar reform was passed in Florida two years ago, which restores the right to vote to people who have served their sentences.
- Arizona: Legalizing marijuana. Approved with 59.8%. It legalizes the possession and use of marijuana for adults, age 21 and over, and allows people to grow up to six marijuana plants in their residences.
- Montana: Allowing the legal age of marijuana. Approved with 57.8%. It establishes that the state can set the legal age to buy, consume or possess alcoholic beverages and marijuana.
- Montana: Legalize marijuana. Approved with 56.9%. Legalizes the possession and use of 1 ounce or less of marijuana or 8 grams or less of marijuana concentrate by people over 21 years of age.
- Mississippi: Allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Approved with 67.8%. Legalizing medicinal marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions.
- DC: Decriminalizing entheogens. Approved with 76.2%. It supports the policy of treating the cultivation, distribution, possession and non-commercial use of entheogenic plants and fungi among the lowest law enforcement priorities.
- Louisiana: Limitation of the right to abortion. Approved with 62.1%. Adds content to the Louisiana Bill of Rights that says that nothing in the state Constitution should be interpreted to ensure or protect the right to abortion.
- Michigan: Require a search warrant for electronic data. Approved with 88.8%. It requires a search warrant to access a person’s electronic data and electronic communications.
- New Jersey: Legalizing marijuana. Approved with 66.8%. It legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and older and the cultivation, processing, and retail sale of marijuana.
- Oregon: Legalizing psilocybin. Approved with 57.8%. Allows licensed service providers to administer psilocybin-producing mushrooms and mushroom products to individuals 21 years of age or older.
- South Dakota: Legalizing marijuana. Approved with 54.2%. It legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for people 21 and older. People would be allowed to possess or distribute up to 1 ounce of marijuana.
- Utah: Update gender terminology. Approved with 57.8%. Eliminate gender language in the Utah Constitution and replace it with neutral language.
- Washington: Sex education requirement. Approved with 59%. It requires comprehensive sexual health education for all students and requires that students be excused if requested by their parents.
- California: End ban on diversity. Denied with 56%. It repeals a constitutional provision that prohibits California state and local governments from discriminating or granting preferential treatment to people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or sex.
- Colorado: Ban on late-term abortions. Denied with 58.7%. Prohibits abortions after the fetus reaches 22 weeks gestational age.
Another with no final result yet
- California: Medical research bonds. It would allow millions of state dollars for stem cell research and other topics.
Election observers: fraud allegations have damaged the process
Legal lawsuits brought by President Donald Trump’s campaign and his own accusations that the Democratic Party has rigged the presidential election have created confusion and concern among voters, according to a preliminary report from the international election observation mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The United States is a member of this organization and, as part of its commitments, invited a delegation as independent election observers, as is customary in its 57 member countries.
The preliminary report they have issued highlights that Trump’s stance is based on unfounded accusations and represents an attack on the electoral process. The OSCE maintains that such statements by a sitting president undermine public confidence in state institutions. It adds that, in addition, they were perceived by many as an incentive for the potential increase in politically motivated violence after the elections.
The New York Times denounced on Twitter the dissemination on social networks of unfounded messages, especially directed at the Latino population, that tried to delegitimize the election and the results of Joe Biden…as part of a disinformation campaign to undermine the trust of Latinos in the vote as it unfolded.
According to the OSCE report, 400 lawsuits were filed in 44 states in the months leading up to the elections, an unprecedented number.
Donald Trump’s accusations that a fraud process is underway against him have been frequent during the electoral campaign. On different occasions, the president denounced the mail-in votes, despite the fact that recent studies such as the Brennan Center for Justice have shown that the rates of electoral fraud by this means range between 0.00004% and 0.0009% .
Trump’s election campaign has filed lawsuits in at least three states. Some have already been dismissed for lack of evidence.
#breaking Chatham County superior court has dismissed the legal petition of @realDonaldTrump and @GaRepublicans citing lack of evidence of any wrongdoing by board of election @gpbnews @ajc @CNNPolitics
— The Current (@thecurrentga) November 5, 2020
A Georgia state court has rejected a lawsuit brought by local Republicans to prevent the “illegal recount of ballots received after the election” in Savannah.
The Republican Party and the Trump campaign filed the court papers in Chatham County Superior Court Wednesday night, after an observer at the party’s polls “witnessed absentee ballots that had not been properly processed, seemingly mixed up in a pile of absentee ballots that were already scheduled to be tabulated. The proper chain of custody was not followed for the ballots,” they alleged according to court documents.
Judge James F. Bass rendered the judgment orally in court Thursday morning, and he appeared in court this afternoon.
“Stop the count!”
These were Trump’s exact words on Thursday morning in a new tweet that undermines the democratic process of national vote counting.
STOP THE COUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020
However, as in many occasions, it is not clear how it would benefit him to stop counting votes right now (something that would be against the law), because with an advantage in Nevada and Arizona, Biden would reach the 270 electoral votes necessary to become the new President.
At the same time, many of his supporters contradict the candidate’s call to stop the count, promoting pro-protests in states where the Republican vote has a margin of advantage. In Phoenix, Arizona, the lawsuit is for the resumption of the count.
Meanwhile, in towns like Detroit, Michigan, where Democrats report more than 50% of the vote in favor, the slogan continues to be “stop the count.” The protests and demands of Trump supporters, then, vary depending on who is winning.
Biden’s message earlier this morning on Twitter continues to be “Every vote must be counted.”
Every vote must be counted. pic.twitter.com/kWLGRfeePK
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 5, 2020
At the same time, many of Trump’s followers woke up this Thursday demanding the collating of votes in Arizona, something that contradicts what the current president has just published.
Website for Transition
Although it is yet to determine who will be the next president of the United States, Biden’s team has already published a website for the transition.
The website address is “buildbackbetter.com”
In appearances before his followers, Biden was confident that at the end of the vote count they would be victorious, but without declaring himself the winner in advance.
Trump, for his part, declared himself the winner as of the very election night. His team of lawyers continues to attempt a vote recount in Michigan and Wisconsin, two swing states that Biden won by a narrow margin.