Trump is trying to claim the presidency by saying 'we hereby claim' key states but that is not how elections work

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Oma Seddiq
·2 min read
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GettyImages donald trump
President Donald Trump speaks on election night the White House in the early morning hours of November 04, 2020. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump attempted to "claim" victories in battleground states on Wednesday, though he cannot decide the election outcome.

  • "We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," the president tweeted on Wednesday.

  • The only way to determine a winner is through electoral votes.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump attempted to claim victories in key states on Wednesday, though of course he cannot decide the election outcome himself.

"We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won't allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead," Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

"Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan," he continued, "if, in fact, ... there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!" (There is no credible evidence of any illegal ballot dumping in the state).

There is no legal weight to a candidate claiming victory, even if its the president. The only method to determine a winner is through electoral votes. States appoint a number of electors equal to the number of representatives they have in Congress to the Electoral College, a system that was devised in the 18th century by the founders of the United States. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, every state appoints all of its electoral college votes to the candidate who wins the most votes.

You can read Business Insider's full explainer on the Electoral College here.

Election officials are rushing to finalize vote counts in several states. Battlegrounds that Trump mentioned in his tweets, including Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, have not been formally called for a candidate.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is projected to win Michigan, according to Insider and Decision Desk HQ.

Since late Tuesday evening, when election results started trickling in, Trump and his campaign have tried to claim victory. Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has continued to push back on the false information. 

"Power can't be taken or asserted, it flows from the people, and it's their will that determines who will be the President of the United States," Biden tweeted on Wednesday. 

Read the original article on Business Insider