The United States presidential election was Tuesday (3 Nov 2020).
Here is a summary of the top 5 political issues making headlines today.
1. Biden edges closer to presidency. Trump claims fraud.
The counting continued Thursday in the four main states — Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona — still in play in the U.S. elections. Democratic candidate Joe Biden is edging closer to becoming the next U.S. president.
However Republican U.S. President Donald Trump accused the Democrats of fraud and said from the White House Thursday that he has already won — if only the legally casted votes are counted. Trump claimed the process was unfair and corrupt and that the Democrats are trying to steal the vote.
He blasted mail-in votes and said he would not allow corruption to steal an important election. Trump’s campaign has filed numerous lawsuits regarding the elections.
As it stands, Biden is still short of the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. He has 253 electoral votes seemingly locked up to Trump’s 214.
Biden, on the other hand, told Americans Thursday that had “no doubt” that he would ultimately prevail in the race.
“It is the will of the voters, no one, not anything else, that chooses the president of the United States of America,” he said. “So, each ballot must be counted, and that’s what we’re going to see going through now…
“Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that’s been the envy of the world…”
“I ask everyone to stay calm — all the people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed, and we’ll know very soon,” Biden said.
2. Why did the polls seems so off again?
While Joe Biden seems likely to become the next U.S. president, Donald Trump made the race closer than many pollsters had him doing. The Republicans are also in position to retain control of the U.S. Senate and picked up seats in the House.
Many polls called those wrong, too.
U.S. President Donald Trump called them fake polls, suppression polls on Thursday.
Why happened? Can people ever trust the polls?
“Enthusiasm has been an inconsistent predictor of turnout, so we take it with a grain of salt,” David Dutwin, a former president of the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers, told the Poynter Institute, a media education and training organization.
“Horse race polling is unique because researchers are asking people what they are going to do or what they plan to do. In the past, 10 to 20% of the people who said they were going to vote did not, and a smaller group 10 to 15% of the people who said they weren’t going to vote, actually did,” Poynter points out.
a. The pollsters were wrong again — why do we listen to them? – New York Post
3. Judge orders U.S. postal facilities to check for postmarked ballots
With the vote counting still going in some battleground states, a judge ordered the United States Postal Service on Thursday to check all its processing facilities twice a day in states that allow for properly postmarked ballots to count in an election even if they arrive after Election Day.
With a winner not having been declared in the race between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, the issue of late-arriving ballots are at the center of the outcome and already filed and potential court cases.
The late and mail-in ballots have tended to heavily favor Biden. Trump has even tweeted to stop counting the ballots. The irony is if you did stop the count Thursday evening Biden would be the winner of the presidential race.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan also ordered on Thursday the U.S. Postal Service to report the number of ballots found during the sweep and confirm they were delivered in time to meet the state deadlines.
a. Biden, Trump spar over ballots as decisive states move toward finishing their count – The Washington Post
4. Sharpiegate the fake news that spread among the conservatives
In the social media age, a rather dubious claim went viral in Facebook groups that certain ballots filled out with felt-tipped Sharpie pens could not be read by vote-scanning machines in Maricopa County Arizona, one of the states still in play after the November 3 elections.
The rumor then went viral. It wasn’t true.
Politico said Jay Sekulow, who was Trump’s lawyer during his impeachment helped spread the rumour on a radio show.
One caller called SharpieGate “the scandal of the century.” A candidate for Arizona governor said he would be holding a protest outside the state capitol building and
urged supporters to: “Bring your Sharpies and hold them high.”
“Have you heard about Dems distributing sharpie pens to Trump voters and then invalidating their ballots,” read one tweet, which was shared more than 1,300 times on election night.
a. Arizona election officials debunk “Sharpie-gate” – NBC2 NEws
b. Trumpkins Fixate on Bogus Sharpie Ballot Controversy – The Daily Beast
5. Officers in Floyd’s death to be tried together, in Minneapolis
A Minneapolis judge has rejected defense requests to move the trial of four former police officers charged in the death of George Floyd, an African-American.
His death last May prompted protests across the United States and in many other parts of the world as the Black Lives Matter movement touched off ongoing soul-searching about racial inequality.
One of the white officers was captured on video with a knee pressing on Floyd’s neck while he was in handcuffs lying face down. Flood was heard saying he can’t breathe.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill wrote: “No corner of the State of Minnesota has been shielded from pretrial publicity regarding the death of George Floyd. Because of that pervasive media coverage, a change of venue is unlikely to cure the taint of potential prejudicial pretrial publicity,” he wrote.
The judge also rejected a request to try the four former police officers separately and ruled in another order that the trial scheduled for March can be televised and streamed live from the courtroom.
“(It) would allow this community, this State and the nation to absorb the verdicts for the four defendants at once,” Cahill concluded.
a. George Floyd’s America– The Washington Post
b. George Floyd and race in the US – Financial Times