Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday November 4, 2020
Trump prematurely crowns himself winner in chaotic U.S. election that remains undecided
The ingredients have now been assembled for a combustible post-election aftermath in the United States. And Donald Trump has begun flinging matches.
Uncertainty had been predicted for months and early returns confirmed that voting day would indeed pass without a clear winner.
As in 2016, Trump outperformed the polls, forcing a state-by-state duel with Democratic challenger Joe Biden that could conceivably culminate in Trump winning a second term.
The result could become clearer within hours, or perhaps days.
States are still counting mail-in ballots, which tend to skew Democrat, and Biden is quickly narrowing gaps in the count in several states; in some cases, he’s possibly set to overtake Trump.
The chaotic finale illustrates the country’s bitter polarization; the parties are arguing about which types of ballots are legitimate.
The president has eagerly fanned that polarization. Early Wednesday morning, he falsely claimed that he had already won. Trump did so in an unusual rally from the White House, a seat of government not typically used for election events.
“This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment,” Trump said from the executive residence. “We did win this election.”
Trump promised to head to court to try cutting off the counting of votes.
In Pennsylvania, for example, Republicans have been trying to cancel the counting of ballots that are postmarked before election day but arrive after. It’s one of more than 350 such casesthis year over pandemic-related voting measures. (CBC)