FORMER United States Vice-President Joe Biden is inches away from the White House in the presidential race whose results have been delayed mainly by counting of huge volumes of mail votes.
Biden has already bagged 264 out of the required 270 Electoral College votes, winning in key states such as Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona, among others regarded as Trump’s strongholds.
Trump has already claimed the poll has been marred by irregularities, also demanding to approach the court to stop the counting of mail votes he claimed were received after the close of voting.
As predicted in October by Lonna Rae Atkeson, a director at the Institute for Social Research, University of New Mexico, during a virtual address to journalists virtually covering the elections, mail votes have led to a delay in announcement of a few key states.
The international journalists from different countries including Zimbabwe are covering the US elections under the Foreign Press Centre Virtual Reporting Tour.
A number of voters voted by mail due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed millions globally.
“Nevertheless, we are expecting large delays in outcomes as votes are processed,” Atkeson said then.
“So, obviously, there are a lot of different things going on with Covid-19. A lot of states have altered or changed their processes for the selection. The litigation that we have seen in this election compared to other elections is just off the charts.
Addressing journalists covering the elections virtually, John Zogby, Founder and Senior Partner, Zogby Strategies said Trump’s choice to allege fraud in the polls for so many reasons was a challenge to democracy.
“We have evolved to a situation for the first time since the 1850s and prior to our civil war, where the actual legitimacy of an election is challenged, and where, actually, a candidate is building a constituency around challenging the legitimacy of our democracy,” he said.
“Broadly speaking, our democracy is seriously being challenged. Democracy can’t work if someone who loses, and that could be either side, but if someone who loses says, ‘I’m not going to lose.’ Secondly, it’s a challenge for the threat that it poses to civil order in the country.
“We already know that militias are gathering. We know that #BlackLivesMatter, on the other side, are gathering. We know that a volatile situation like this does not need gasoline poured onto it.
“There’s a lot at stake here,” he said.
Trump has been taking to microblogging site Twitter to vent his frustration on the electoral system.
“Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning,” he said.
He also made claims of irregularities during a Friday speech snubbed by media houses.
On his part, Biden has called for calm and patience adding that Americans must not be divided by the polls.
“We may be opponents — but we are not enemies. We are Americans,” he said on Friday.
“I know tensions can be high after a tough election like we just had. But we need to remain calm, patient and let the process work out as we count all the votes.”
— The Standard