- All the key battleground states in the 2020 election have now finalized their presidential election results, cementing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
- The six battlegrounds of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin finalized their results for Biden.
- The canvassing and certification came under a national spotlight due to the efforts of President Trump and his allies to challenge the election results in court and spread baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
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All of the key battleground states in the 2020 presidential race have now formally certified or finalized their election results, cementing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
Biden won the Electoral College with 306 electoral votes compared to 232 for Trump. The former vice president flipped five states that Trump won in 2016: the “blue wall” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; Arizona, which a Democratic presidential candidate has not carried since 1996; and Georgia, which a Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won since 1992.
After all the votes come in, election officials thoroughly canvass the votes cast before elected officials can be seated.
During the canvassing process, local election officials process and adjudicate provisional ballots, and in many states, late-arriving domestic mail ballots and absentee ballots from overseas and military voters. In some states, the canvassing process can also include mandatory audits or recounts. Once every vote is properly accounted for, officials then certify the results.
In most elections, the canvassing and certification process doesn’t receive much public attention or scrutiny. But in 2020, the actions and decisions of local officials and canvassing boards were thrust into the national spotlight due to the efforts of Trump and his allies to challenge the election results in court and spread unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud and election irregularities in the states that the president lost.
Georgia formally certified its election results on November 20 after completing a statewide risk-limiting audit, the first of its kind in the South, in which election workers hand-recounted over 5 million ballots that confirmed Biden’s narrow victory over Trump. After certification, the Trump campaign also requested a machine recount, which is expected to finish up this week.
Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers then certified the state’s results for Biden on November 23 after hearing nearly three hours of public comment. One day later, on November 24, the two battleground states of Pennsylvania and Nevada also certified their statewide presidential results for Biden.
Arizona’s governor certified the state’s presidential results on Monday, November 30 as Trump allies including Rudy Giuliani held a press conference continuing to push unfounded claims of fraud and malfeasance in the election.
The chairwoman of Wisconsin’s Election Commission confirmed Biden as the winner of the state’s 10 Electoral College votes also on Monday, setting up a certification from Gov. Tony Evers. The Trump campaign requested recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both of which affirmed Biden’s victory in the state and netted Biden 87 votes.
The battleground states that Trump won, including Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and North Carolina, have also now formally certified their results.
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Trump and his allies lost over two dozen lawsuits they filed to halt vote counting, get certain ballots disqualified, and delay certification of election results in the battleground states that Trump lost, according to Insider’s Jacob Shamsian and Sonam Sheth.
Then the Trump campaign and the president’s allies pivoted to attempting to compel state and local officials to delay certifying the results of the election. While many states allow campaigns to request recounts after certification, it’s much harder for campaigns to legally challenge election results after states have certified those results.
The next step in the process of Biden taking over the presidency is for the entire slate of presidential electors to meet and cast their votes in every state and the District of Columbia on December 14.