Three days have passed since the election and there is still no clear result.
There are currently five states still in play: Alaska, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. With 270 electoral votes needed to win, Biden needs 6 more electoral votes — any one of the last four (GA, NV, NC or PA) would do it. If conservative Fox News call the result in favor of Joe Biden, we will know it is all over for Donald Trump.
There are wild claims of missing ballots and vote rigging aimed at destroying credibility of the election result, plus conspiracy theories and fake videos alleging election fraud circulating on social media. We saw similar videos circulated after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. Some were so amateurish as to be laughable — with looped video run in reverse in an attempt to portray an election official as counting the same ballot over and over again, complete with a voice-over with a heavy Russian accent — but some are now likely to be far more professional. Social media companies will need to crack down on organized disinformation campaigns.
Requests for recounts are fair enough in a hotly-contested race but are unlikely to change the outcome. Allegations of election fraud are far more malicious, especially when made in the mass media rather than in court. In the end, any such allegations will need to be tested in a court of law which will act as the final arbiter.
The election is distracting us from an even more serious threat to the country: daily cases of COVID-19 in the US reached a new record high of 121,888. Failure to curb the current rate of transmission threatens to overwhelm the health care system and bring the economy to a standstill.
The last thing we need is to neglect the COVID-19 campaign while the election arm-wrestle descends into an all-in brawl.