Late last month, Bernie Sanders was one of many people urging caution about election night 2020, and on The Tonight Show, he gamed out nearly the exact scenario that’s playing out now, as mail-in ballots continue to be counted in several key swing states.
On October 23rd, Sanders noted that states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania would not be able to start processing and counting their millions of mail-in ballots until Election Day. As it stands, those three states, plus Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia, are all still counting, with results for some not expected for a few more days.
Sanders also correctly predicted the next aspect of this tense moment: That because Democrats are more likely to use mail-in ballots, the initial Election Day count would come predominately from Republicans who voted in person. The fear, Sanders said, would be that at some time in the night, with that early vote in, Trump would go on television and proclaim victory — and indeed, early Wednesday morning, Trump prematurely claimed the win, falsely made accusations of fraud and said he would go to the Supreme Court to stop more ballots from being counted.
Sanders said it is likely that more mail-in ballots will start getting counted and Biden’s tallies will carry him past Trump. In more of a nod to what still may be imminent, Sanders added, “At which point, Trump says, ‘See! I told you the whole thing was fraudulent, I told you those mail-in ballots were crooked! And we’re not gonna leave office.’ So that is a worry that I and a lot of people have… People should be aware of that possibility.”