Analysis – Despite the contentious debate about alleged vote fraud, litigation, and recounts, and the media declaring Joe Biden the “projected” winner of the election, one very simple fact is being overlooked by nearly everyone. There still is NO certified winner of the U.S. presidential election.
Everything else is political smoke and disinformation.
President Trump claiming victory early morning after election day was wrong and premature. However, Biden takes the prize for most delusional. Running around, while key states are still counting votes, and litigation pending, with a huge made-up sign saying “Office of the President-Elect” is beyond farcical.
Firstly, there is NO official entity by that name. It simply does not exist by the Constitution, statute, regulation, or law.
President Obama essentially made it up as a marketing ploy in 2008. This allowed him to undermine President GW Bush by giving “official” looking press conferences and making “official” sounding pronouncements while Bush was still the sitting president.
President Trump also made use of this faux entity in 2016 but to a more limited degree.
Biden though has taken it to an entirely new level. In his case using his made-up “Office of the President-Elect” signage to further the disinformation mirage that Biden has authority and legitimacy he simply does not have, because – Biden is NOT the President-Elect.
No one is – yet.
To be clear, politicians on both sides can simply say they believe Biden should be called the President-Elect, or that he be given intelligence briefings, the media and Biden’s supporters may want him to be the President-Elect already – but wishing, wanting, and pontificating doesn’t make it so.
Biden may soon be President-Elect, or maybe Trump will score a win in the courts that help him cross the finish line first and remain President. But as of now, no one has been officially certified as the winner of the 2016 presidential election. NO ONE.
There is no President-Elect yet, and it is OK.
It is OK because there is an official process to determine the President-Elect and neither the media nor individual politicians have a say. And waiting a few weeks is not the end of the world, nor of democracy.
That is why new presidents are not inaugurated until Jan 20th to ensure time for the process to play out.
The first requirement is that vote totals in states be certified. In this election that means the key states that are still counting, or under contention, that will ultimately decide the Electoral College vote. That has yet to occur in several states in question.
The second requirement – per the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 – needs the federal Government Services Administration (GSA) to “ascertain” the winner and designate the President-Elect for transition purposes. Due to the litigation and lack of state vote certification, that also has not yet been done.
That is why Team Trump is not initiating any type of premature presidential transition with Team Biden, nor providing intelligence briefings to Biden. He simply is not legally President-Elect.
Then there is the most important requirement – the Electoral College. Until the Electoral College meets in mid-December to make the vote official, there really is no President-Elect.
In the past, Americans have allowed the media to project winners, and the political establishment went along, often before all these requirements were met, because, generally there was not much of a discrepancy between the projections and the reality. And few elections (2000 election being a big exception) were contested.
Sadly, that has now changed.
In today’s world, it pays to be patient and wait for official certifications, ascertainment, and Electoral College votes before declaring winners. That is the process that our brilliant founders created.
Both Biden and Trump need to follow it. And so should the media and everyone else.