Trump Claims US Election Win Even as Votes are Being Counted. Bernie Sanders Predicted it Last Month
Bernie Sanders saw it coming | Image credit: Reuters/YouTube
Donald Trump is declaring the Republicans won the US elections even as mail-in ballots are yet to be counted in four states. Senator Bernie Sanders was one of the few people who saw this coming.
- Last Updated: November 04, 2020, 16:09 IST
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Even though the US Presidential Elections 2020 were conducted on November 3, the votes are still being counted. The delay in results has raised a familiar concern - can Donald Trump declare himself President even before counting is over? It seems he can as is evident from his speeches at the White House where Trump has been claiming victory even as the counting of mail-in ballots in four states remains underway.
And it seems US Senator Bernie Sanders was one of the few people who saw this coming.
The Democratic socialist leader who dropped out of the race for the 2020 Presidential Election after facing a series of losses to Joe Biden, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last month where he predicted the possibility of Trump prematurely declaring himself President even before the counting of the ballots.
Several political analysts and poll pundits had forecasted a delay in the announcement of Election results in 2020, owing to the obvious fact that the counting of 93 million early ballots is a labour-intensive task. Add to that the pandemic and the process has been slower than usual, resulting in millions of mail-in ballots.
With that in mind, Fallon asked Sanders in the October interview when he thought the results would be in, even though polls were set to close on November 3.
"Jimmy you raise an important point," Sanders responded, adding that this was something he worried about.
Sanders suggested that while in-person voting would be more prevalent traditionally Republican-voting states like Florida or Vermont, the more Democratic-voting states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and others would be dealing with a huge amount of mail-in ballots that have to be counted. This would result in a delay in the counting of those states.
man... he called it WORD for WORD. pic.twitter.com/9uBn1Sm8xa— hector (@onikasgivenchy) November 4, 2020
"What polls show, and what studies have predicted, is that Democrats are more likely to use mail-in ballots. Republicans are more likely to walk into polling booths on Election Day. It is likely that the first votes that will be counted will be those people who came in on Election Day, which will be Republican".
He went on to predict the ominous possibility of Trump prematurely declaring himself President on the basis of an incomplete vote count in his favour.
"Here's my fear. It could well be that on 10 o clock on Election Night, Trump is winning in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin. And he gets on the television and says "Thank you Americans, for re-electing me".
But when the actual numbers from these states are revealed after counting of mail-in ballots is over, and Biden is revealed to be the winner in those states, Sanders warns that Trump may claim the results of the mail-in ballots are rigged.
As it turns out, that is almost exactly if not verbatim what Trump seems to be doing. The incumbent Republican candidate has repeatedly tried to sow doubt regarding the process of mail-in voting, encouraging Republican voters to hit the polling booth in person to cast their vote. He has also repeatedly stated his disdain for the counting of mail-in votes even after Election Day is over.
“It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate and I don’t believe that that’s by our laws,” Trump told reporters in October.
On Wednesday, Trump declared that he had already "won" the elections. Despite the counting of votes yet to be finished in four states, Trump claimed he was already the winner and also added that "election fraud" was being committed.
“A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise people who voted for me] and we won’t stand for this,” CNBC reported Trump as stating in White House early in the morning.
“We were getting ready for a big celebration. We were winning everything, and all of a sudden it was just called off.” he said.
He also vowed to move Supreme Court against the alleged election fraud, stating that "all voting must stop". After Joe Biden said that he was confident that the Democrats were on "on track" to win the elections, Trump took to Twitter to claim that the Democrats were "stealing the elections". Twitter flagged the tweet as potentially misinforming as it claimed that voting was still underway when it wasn't.
But it seems Sanders already knew.
Not just Sanders, Axios.com had also reported in October that Trump was likely to declare himself President prematurely in case of a delay in ballots after the President repeatedly refused to acknowledge a transition of power in case he loses to the Democrat challenger Joe Biden.