Republican US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have both claimed to be ahead in the closely fought Presidential election, even as the final outcome hinged on a handful of states on Thursday where a flood of mail-in ballots triggered by the raging coronavirus pandemic remained to be counted. Trump and Biden both won key American states they were expected to win in their bid for a majority in the 538-member electoral college that determines who wins the race for the White House in Tuesday’s election.
But the results in four states Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada was yet to be declared as officials counted millions of votes, some that were cast on Tuesday and many more during weeks of early voting amidst the surging pandemic. Neither candidate had governed the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House. But Biden’s chances were better as he had 253 electoral college votes compared to 213 won by President Trump, according to latest US media projections.
In the US election, voters decide state-level contests rather than a single, national one. Each US state gets a certain number of electoral college votes partly based on the size of the population, with a total of 538 up for grabs.
To reach the magic figure of 270 to claim victory, Trump, 74, must win all four remain-ing battleground states: Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada.
There are approxi-mately 90,735 ballots still outstanding in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office told CNN. The state has 16 electoral college votes.
With 71 per cent of mail-in ballots counted in Pennsylvania, officials still needs to count 763,000 of the 2.6 million cast, according to the state’s official website. The state has 20 Electroal College votes.
North Carolina has 15 electoral college votes while Nevada has six.
On Wednesday, Biden, 77, told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware: “When the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”
“I will govern as an American President. The presidency itself is not a partisan institution.”
But senior Trump campaign aide Jason Miller said: “By the end of this week, it will be clear to the entire nation that President Trump and Vice-President Pence will be elected for another four years.”