It has now been sixteen days since the US election took place, but current President Trump shows no signs of slowing down his efforts to overturn the result of the election which showed a clear victory for Joe Biden. Biden is currently approaching a win of historic proportion as he nears a margin of 80 million votes with democratic states of California and New York still counting their final ballots (Independent).
Trump first claimed an early victory of the election in the early hours of November 4th as key battleground states still remained ‘too close to call’ and neither candidate had gained the 270 electoral college votes necessary to secure a victory. His claims were responded to by the Biden campaign, who stated that they were “outrageous, unprecedented and incorrect” (Politico). Now, more than two weeks later, Trump’s claims have escalated from clear cut victory to outright voter fraud, as he insists that the election has been ‘stolen’ from him. (Politico)
The current claims are centered around Biden’s victories in the key battleground states that Trump won in the 2016 election, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Trump has continually stated that there have been cases of fraud here, causing him to lose the election; now, we see allies of the President backing him in these instances. As of today, two Republican election officials in Michigan have refused to back the certification of the results, and in Arizona, officials are refusing to sign off on tallies in one county.
Meanwhile, by the time every ballot is counted, it is likely that Biden will have claimed his victory with the largest margin seen in this century apart from Barack Obama in 2008 (Independent). Furthermore, he is on track to win the election with the same electoral college margin (306) that Trump claimed a ‘landslide victory’ with, back in 2016.
Despite the President’s claims of voter fraud, there has not been any substantial evidence to back up his claims. Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa), Christopher Krebs, has now been fired after releasing a statement stating that claims of voter fraud were unsubstantiated: “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” the statement read. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” (Guardian)
Despite the lack of evidence to back these claims, Trump stands strong on his viewpoint that the election was stolen from him and refuses to concede defeat. This poses a risk of jeopardizing the long-standing peaceful transition of power which is supposed to take place from one administration to the next. This could affect the transition to the Biden-Harris administration, hindering their ability to take on time-sensitive issues such as the pandemic and the migrant crisis among others.