The 2020 election aftermath—Day 6

Welcome to the Monday, Nov. 9, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Where the 2020 elections stand
  2. Election deadlines for the week beginning Nov. 9
  3. Looking at recounts in the 2016 presidential election

Where the 2020 elections stand

We’ve been tracking election results all weekend as states continue to count remaining ballots. All results in this email are as of 4:00 p.m. EST.

Here are some links for you to bookmark:

  • A rundown of states’ official results certification dates can be found here. The first state election results certification date was Nov. 5 for Delaware. The next is Nov. 10 for Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia.
    • Louisiana has a majority-vote system and will have second-round elections on Dec. 5. The state’s majority-vote system is one in which all candidates appear on the same ballot in November, regardless of their partisan affiliations. In the races where a candidate did not receive a majority of the vote, the candidates advance to a second round in December.
  • For updates throughout the day, visit our results hub page at Ballotpedia.org
  • Stay tuned for our next email update later this afternoon via our Help Desk newsletter
  • For details about how recounts and challenges work, check out the information we have compiled on our Election Help Desk.
  • Click here to learn how we decide to call an election. 

Now, let’s get into the projected results.

Who won the presidency?

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election, according to a consensus call from ABC News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, and The New York Times. Following the race calls in his favor for Pennsylvania, Biden has won at least 279 electoral votes, putting him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. President Donald Trump (R) won at least 214 electoral votes.

Races remain too close to call in three battleground states: Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Biden currently leads in the first two states, totaling 27 electoral votes. Trump leads in North Carolina, which has 15 electoral votes.

Ballotpedia is tracking five states in which the presidential election has been subject either to lawsuits or recount efforts. Click here to learn more.

Who controls the U.S. Senate?

Control of the U.S. Senate as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined. Two Senate races had been called since Friday: Sen. Susan Collins (R) won the U.S. Senate seat from Maine, and Mark Kelly (D) defeated incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R) in Arizona. Four other races, all with Republican incumbents, had not been called by a consensus of media outlets. Those races are in Alaska, Georgia’s regular and special Senate elections, and North Carolina.

The composition of the Senate excluding the four uncalled seats is 48 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Thus far, Democrats have flipped two seats, and Republicans have flipped one:

  • Tommy Tuberville (R) defeated incumbent Doug Jones (D) in Alabama.
  • Mark Kelly (D) defeated incumbent Martha McSally (R) in Arizona’s special election.
  • John Hickenlooper (D) defeated incumbent Cory Gardner (R) in Colorado.

If no candidate in the Georgia U.S. Senate races receives more than 50% of the vote, the top-two finishers will advance to a general runoff election on Jan. 5, 2021. The control of the Senate may not be determined until the winner of one or both of those elections is determined. Early indications are that both races will head to a runoff, and if so, will likely attract significant attention in the coming weeks. Learn more about the races here.

Who controls the House of Representatives?

Control of the House of Representatives as a result of the 2020 elections had not been determined, although news outlets projected that Democrats will retain their majority. We had called 397 of the 435 races. Democrats had won 204 seats to Republicans’ 193. Democrats had flipped two seats, and Republicans had flipped eight, including one held by a Libertarian in 2020.

Learn more

Election deadlines for the week beginning Nov. 9

Now that Election Week is over, what’s next? Here’s a summary of the noteworthy dates and deadlines happening this week.

Between today and Friday, 11 states and the District of Columbia have absentee/mail-in ballot receipt deadlines.

• Nov. 9: Iowa and West Virginia

• Nov. 10: Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York

• Nov. 12: North Carolina

• Nov. 13: Alaska, D.C. Maryland, and Ohio 

Also this week, eight states will observe election certification and/or canvassing deadlines:

• Nov. 10: Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia

• Nov. 11: South Carolina and Wyoming

• Nov. 13: Mississippi  

One state legislature will swear-in new members this week:

• Nov. 9: South Carolina State Legislature

Click here for our full list of election certification dates, and click here for absentee/mail-in voting return deadlines. Our list of state legislature swearing-in dates is here.

Looking at recounts in the 2016 presidential election

On Friday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) announced there would be a presidential election recount in the state due to the race being too close to call. Let’s take a look at what an election recount is and what recounts we saw in both 2016 and the years before.

An election recount is a process by which votes cast in an election are re-tabulated to verify the accuracy of the original results. Recounts typically occur in the event of a close margin of victory, following accusations of election fraud, or due to the possibility of administrative errors. Recounts can either occur automatically or be requested by a candidate or voters.

Following the 2016 presidential election, two states—Wisconsin and Nevada—conducted recounts after receiving requests from candidates. Neither recount changed the election outcome. Below is a brief look at those recounts, who requested them, and what effect they had on vote totals:

Nevada

Reform Party candidate Rocky De La Fuente requested a partial recount of four counties and Carson City, Nevada, on Nov. 29. The recount began on Dec. 5 and finished on Dec. 8. As a result, Trump lost six votes, and Clinton lost nine, subtracting three votes from her margin of victory. Clinton ultimately won the state by a margin of 27,202 votes.

Wisconsin

Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, requested a full recount in Wisconsin on Nov. 25, saying the election had been hacked. Prior to the recount, Donald Trump (R) led Hillary Clinton (D) by 27,257 votes. The recount began on Dec. 1 and finished on Dec. 12. As a result, Clinton gained 713 votes, and Trump gained 844, adding 131 votes to his margin of victory. 

Stein also requested recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but neither was completed. In Michigan, Stein ended her request after a series of court challenges, which involved a state ruling that Stein had no standing to request a recount. In Pennsylvania, Stein withdrew her request amid additional court challenges.

According to a FairVote study, between 2000 and 2015, there were 4,687 statewide general elections, 27 of which, roughly 0.58%, resulted in statewide recounts. Of those 27, three changed the election outcome: Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. Senate election, Vermont’s 2006 State Auditor election, and Washington’s 2004 gubernatorial election. None of those three swung the winning candidate by more than 500 votes.

Learn more




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