Midday update Thurs Nov 5:
Takeaway: Joe Biden will be the Next President of the United States.
Key Messages: Count all votes cast. Stay patient. Stay calm.
Our democracy is working — and it’s a joy to behold! Nearly 160 Million Americans have cast ballots to determine our next President. Every single one of those legally cast ballots — cast by 8pm on Election Day — deserves to be counted this week. And that’s precisely what is happening.
Let’s take a step back for a moment.
(No, not all the way to the cliff. No reason for that. We are on solid ground. Phew — all good now.)
This election was held in the middle of a historic pandemic that has killed more than 225,000 Americans. States tool great pains to ensure the voting process stayed secure and safe, including encouraging the use of absentee balloting via the US Postal Service or secure drop boxes to allow people to vote from home, as has been done for decades. Pre-election day, early in-person voting also allowed voters to vote in a trickle, ensuring safe social distancing during voting. All of these measures reduced the pack of voters on Election Day, ensuring poll workers and voters could also observe social distancing as urged public health experts.
It worked! We conducted an amazing election in the middle of a pandemic — and it has worked. We will have to watch infection rates closely, but so far, things are functioning well across the board. Let’s hope and pray for the safety and health of voters and workers.
All votes cast by the state deadlines on Election Day will be counted. The election is over — now we count.
Why are we waiting so long for counting votes in states like Pennsylvania? Because the GOP legislatures would not adjust state law to allow for processing any of this large influx of absentee votes before election day. One can interpret this through a partisan lens, as is often the case when it comes to election law; regardless of motivation, the law has required this process in PA and elsewhere: count election day votes first, then go through the painstaking process of verifying every individual absentee ballot to ensure it is a legally valid vote.
So, each individual election worker is taking the time to count the votes properly.
These election workers are committed to the boring, detailed, step-by-step process. Their attention to every detail is amazing. G-d bless them.
At home, our kids are taking on more and more responsibility and meaningful chores. I find myself repeating a simple idea: “It’s faster to do it right than rush to do it quickly.” Well, let’s be honest — sometimes I yell. Sorry about that, kiddos. See, Dad, it’s faster to slow down and do it right, rather than yell and rush… (Can I get an “Amen,” fellow parents?)
So, we let them do it right. And do it well. This is the process. It’s detailed. It’s careful. It’s democracy, baby!
Back to that democracy thing… I’ll do quick rundowns on the remaining undetermined states in a moment.
But first, I know many of you have asked good questions about some topics that overlap with voting issues and the transitions ahead. Q: ARE THERE TOPICS ABOUT WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE? Please comment with those questions. I’ll try to cover as many as I can in the coming updates.
I plan to post later about the various legal challenges from the Trump administration right now. I also know some want to know about the USPS ballot delay question and Judge Sullivan’s orders. Some have asked about the Biden transition plan. I also know there’s a big question about the ethical questions that will face the new Department of Justice and the Trump crime family matters. Others want to know — in President Josiah Bartlet’s words — What’s Next?
What else would you like to know?
Ok — to the votes:
PA: On track for Biden to take the lead today there. Biden is within 114k votes there, and there are approx. 500k absentee mail-in ballots left to count. B/c of Trump’s attacks on mail voting to his voters, by an overwhelming margin these ballots are trending 75–25 Biden, and in some D-heavy areas, they are 80–20 or 90–10 Biden.
I would not be surprised to have dinner tonight with Biden in the lead. Or maybe by time for that 12-year scotch for a nightcap. JEREMY CONFIDENCE LEVEL in PA: Very high.
NV: Biden’s lead has grown to about 12k with more ballots this morning. In core-D area of Clark County (Las Vegas), all inperson votes have been counted. Those ballots left are absentees — via mail or drop-off — and a few provisional ballots that need final verification. 51k such votes will be released tomorrow at 10am local time there. I will say now — the count will show that Biden won Nevada. JEREMY CONFIDENCE LEVEL in NV: Very high.
GA: Man it’s close. But with a 13k margin for Trump and 50k outstanding absentee ballots — including many from D heavy areas — it looks very good for Biden in Georgia. JEREMY CONFIDENCE LEVEL in GA: High to very high.
AZ: Biden’s fine here. Silly protests provide some noise on TV, but the ballots are being counted, and Biden’s 69k vote lead is stable and should persist, though it could slide down to 30–40k in the end. JEREMY CONFIDENCE LEVEL in AZ: Moderate to high. One more batch of votes from Maricopa County (Phoenix area) will get me up to High to Very High.
NC: Really need to wait until the Nov 12 late-arrival deadline for absentee votes cast by election day. Trump’s 77k vote lead there may hold, but watch this space.
JEREMY CONFIDENCE LEVEL in NC: Low. Not in the basement, but on the ground floor. Near the fridge so I can grab a beer to drown my sorrows about the loss of this Senate seat, mostly.
Thanks all for your interest. I enjoy all of the feedback and dialogue.