Joe Biden’s campaign manager proclaimed on Monday that under no scenario would President Donald Trump be “declared the victor on election night.”
Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, who has led the former vice president’s campaign since the end of the Democrat primaries, told supporters during a virtual election protection briefing that Trump’s recent suggestions of declaring victory on election night if the race seemed to be going his way were improper. She argued that given the nature of voting during the novel coronavirus pandemic, it would be impossible for a victor to be determined until in-person and vote-by-mail ballots were counted—a process that could take days.
“We want to be clear with you that if he tries to do that, that will not be true,” O’Malley Dillon said. “Just declaring victory without actually having won … is really basically trying to say that COVID is over even though we know it’s not and all the evidence is saying that COVID in this country continues.”
“We want to be fundamentally clear, what we believe to be true, under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night,” she added.
O’Malley Dillon’s assertion that Trump would not be declared a victor on Tuesday comes as the Biden campaign has begun fundraising for the prospect that a protracted legal battle will ensue well after Election Day. As part of the preparations, the former vice president’s campaign has already recruited more than 600 election lawyers to help fight any “chicanery” in the vote-by-mail process.
As Breitbart News reported in May, widespread vote-by-mail could pose a significant logistical problem for state and local election bureaus. Not only would such bureaus need to have the appropriate equipment, such as specialized high-speed scanners, to process large numbers of absentee ballots, but they would further have to mount public awareness campaigns informing voters on how to vote by mail.
Such efforts would likely prove a burden on local governments, which are already facing difficulty because of the coronavirus, and could delay the reporting of results well after Election Day, creating political instability. Wisconsin indicated the possibility of this scenario when it took more than a month to count at least 30,000 outstanding mail-in ballots from the state’s April 3 Democrat presidential primary.