Joe Biden is projected to win the presidency, what happens next?


President-elect Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 7, 2020. Photo by Andrew Harnik / AP pool

By Ryan Bough

On Saturday, four days after the election, the Associated Press (AP) projected Democratic nominee Joe Biden to win the presidency after both Pennsylvania and Nevada were predicted to go to him.

The AP and most other media have Biden currently at 290 projected electoral votes, winning multiple swing states including: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania which were originally projected for President Donald Trump.

As of Nov. 12, two states have yet to be called by the AP, North Carolina and Georgia. Biden is currently leading is Georgia while Trump is leading in North Carolina.

In an address to the nation late Saturday night, Joe Biden preached for Americans to unify.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, who only sees the United States,” Biden said to a divided nation in his victory speech. “The Bible tells us to everything there is a season, a time to build, a time to reap and a time to sow and a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America.”

2020 presidential map via the Associated Press
2020 presidential map via the Associated Press

However, Biden’s bid for the White House is not over yet, as the electoral college needs to meet and give out the 538 votes to the presidential candidates. If all the electors vote with their states popular vote, Biden will then be named President-Elect.

When Americans cast their vote for president, in reality they are not actually voting for the president. They are voting for electors to represent their vote. This has brought up the concerns of faithless electors in the 2020 election.

Faithless electors are electors that do not follow the states popular vote. In the 2016 election there were ten faithless electors, however, this did not significantly change the outcome of the election.

32 states have laws against faithless electors and in July the Supreme Court weighed in on the subject.

On July 6 of this year, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in the Chiafalo v. Washington case that states can punish the electors if they fail to follow the state’s popular vote.

Before the electoral college can give out its vote, States must resolve any disputes about the election. All recounts and lawsuits must be resolved and finished by Dec. 8.

Currently, only Georgia has announced a total recount by hand which is expected to take a week.

Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger released a statement on Twitter regarding the state’s recount.

“Was there illegal voting? I am sure there was. And my office is investigating all of it. Does it rise to the numbers or margin necessary to change the outcome to where President Trump is given Georgia’s electoral votes? That is unlikely,” Raffensperger stated.

Georgia presidential results Via the Associated Press. The AP has not called Georgia for either candidate as of Nov. 12.
Georgia presidential results Via the Associated Press. The AP has not called Georgia for either candidate as of Nov. 12.

As of Nov. 12, Biden leads Trump by just over 14,000 votes in Georgia.

Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue issued a joint statement on Monday, calling for Raffensperger to resign.

Outside of Georgia, there are multiple lawsuits mostly being pursued by the Trump campaign in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and most recently Michigan. Matt Morgan, the Trump 2020 campaign general counsel, sent out a statement on Wednesday alleging reports of voter fraud in Michigan and that they would be proceeding with legal action.

Both Trump and Biden have set records in this election. Biden broke the record for most votes in a general election with more than 77 million votes. Both candidates beat former President Barack Obama’s record voter turnout of just over 69 million votes in the 2008 election. Trump broke the record for most votes as a sitting president with over 72 million votes.

“The 70 million Americans who voted for President Trump deserve transparency into the potentially unconstitutional conduct documented here,” Morgan claimed. “The numerous reports we have heard from credible witnesses of Michigan’s election processes are alarming.”

Some Michigan officials have said these claims are unsupported. All of these lawsuits must be resolved by Dec. 8 so that the electoral college can give out the votes on Dec. 23.

After the House and Senate receive and count the electoral votes, Vice President Mike Pence announced the results on Jan. 6. Then 14 days later on Jan. 20, the president-elect and vice president-elect are sworn into office.