The 2020 general election was held yesterday after more than a month of early voting initiatives in certain states nationwide. Some projected results for certain local and federal races have been announced, but due to the high volume of mail-in ballots, it is unknown whether President Donald J. Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidential race.
New Jersey, which automatically sent mail-in ballots to all voters and only offered provisional ballots at polling places, had yet to release any information when polls closed at 8 p.m. yesterday. The Associated Press (AP) quickly projected Biden would win the state based on polling data and early voting statistics.
As of 8 a.m. today, Trump is projected to win Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Aside from New Jersey, as of 8 a.m., Biden is projected to win California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
He is also projected to win 3 of 4 electoral votes in Maine and one electoral vote in Nebraska for a total of 227 electoral votes, according to the article. Only 98 out of 538 total electoral votes remain.
Approximately 64 million ballots were mailed in before election day nationwide, according to The New York Times. States using mail-in ballots have different rules regarding when ballots can begin being processed and when the deadline for receiving ballots is, which contributes to the prolonged final results.
In New Jersey, ballots mailed by election day will be counted as long as they arrive by Nov. 10., The Daily Targum previously reported. As of Monday, approximately 60 percent of all ballots were returned to election officials for an approximate total of 3.5 million individual votes statewide, according to NorthJersey.com.
Certain swing states, such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, could not begin counting ballots until the day of the election, according to The Washington Post.
Although results are delayed, Biden said he is optimistic about his chances of winning. He said neither he nor Trump should declare victory because it is ultimately up to the public.
“We knew because of the unprecedented early vote and the mail-in vote it was going to take a while. We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying votes is finished,” Biden said. “It ain't over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”
At approximately 2:30 a.m., Trump falsely claimed he won the election despite the ongoing efforts to count ballots as well as neither candidate having enough electoral votes.
“We’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop,” Trump said. “We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list.”
Trump also tweeted that he is winning but said people are attempting to steal the election from him, which was flagged by Twitter for promoting misleading information.
Afterward, Biden's campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, said the Biden campaign was prepared to counter Trump in court if he does attempt to block the ballot count.
"(Trump's speech was) a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens,” O'Malley Dillon said, according to The Washington Post.
It is unclear which party will control the Senate, but the Democrats are projected to retain control of the House of Representatives as of 3 a.m., according to NBC News.
Other election night projections for New Jersey include the re-election of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) of the 6th Congressional District, according to The New York Times.
Additionally, questions to approve marijuana legalization, an extension of property tax deductions for veterans and a redistricting delay in the event of delayed census data all passed, according to the article.