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Can President Trump really stop votes from being counted?

Nathan Turoff, Student Government Reporter

Donald Trump appears to be losing this election. As of writing, Joe Biden has a large electoral lead over Trump, with a few swing states still counting votes. Trump’s path to victory is inarguably narrowing. The President will have to win most, if not all, of the remaining undecided states in order to win this election. However, all of these states are very tight races, and Trump is not ahead in all of them. 

Trump has filed lawsuits in several states, in an effort to stop the late vote from being counted. This would result in many ballots, primarily Democrat ones, being ignored. This could secure the current vote counts as the final ones, where Trump is ahead. However, as the late votes have been tallied, his lead has decreased. UNF professor Sean Freeder explained why the President was doing this, and how practical his lawsuits to stop the vote will be.

President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking in the East Room of the White House, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and first lady Melania Trump watch. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In addition to lawsuits, Trump has also requested a recount in Wisconsin, a state Joe Biden has won by a razor thin margin. Freeder elaborated how this is allowed in Wisconsin, as state rules allow for a candidate to request a recount, as long as the margin was less than one percent, which it was. Freeder also expressed doubt on if the recount would work out in Trump’s favor. He explained how recounts usually never change the votes by more than a couple hundred votes, and that recounts usually end up giving more votes to the winner. 

“Wisconsin doesn’t matter at this point,”  Freeder said.

The delay in votes comes as a result of large numbers of mail-in ballots received as a result of COVID-19 fears. Mail-in ballots were tallied after in-person ballots. Democrats have submitted far more mail-in ballots than Republicans. Freeder explained how this was expected to skew the initial results on election night to Republicans, but that Democrats would catch up as the mail-in votes were tallied.

TOPSHOT – Stickers that read “I Voted By Mail” sit on a table waiting to be stuffed into envelopes by absentee ballot election workers at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, NC on September 4, 2020. – The US election is officially open: North Carolina on September 4, 2020 launched vote-by-mail operations for the November 3 contest between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden, which is getting uglier by the day.Worries about the unabated spread of the coronavirus are expected to prompt a major increase in the number of ballots cast by mail, as Americans avoid polling stations. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo by LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images) (LOGAN CYRUS)

This is of particular interest in Pennsylvania, where the Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots in the state may be received as many as three days after Election Day. Pennsylvania is also the electorally largest state still undecided, and if won, Biden would secure the presidency. Pennsylvania is also one of the states where Trump has filed a lawsuit. 

Freeder explained that, “Trump is going to have to rely on recounts and lawsuits” in order to win this race. 

Professor Freeder gave some insight on these lawsuits. He explained how the president’s lawyers would have to prove it in court, with clear evidence. He explained how every ballot is legal, and only a very strong argument would be made against that. This is all very unprecedented, according to Freeder, as no presidential race has ever hinged on a fraud case. 

“I don’t think we’ve seen any signs of fraud, any signs of corruption,” Fender emphasized. 

The remaining votes are set to be counted in the next few days, and Spinnaker will continue providing updates on the results.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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