Even so, when I woke up the next morning, my kids asked the same question we all had: Dad, who won? What happened in the election?
I know that the answer, “We just have to be patient,” will be about as satisfying to millions of Americans as it was to my kids. But that’s the law, it’s the truth, and it’s the only way to make sure that legal votes determine the winner of our election.
This process was helped by local officials and clerks who have been committed to making sure that every voter could vote safely. Voters can have confidence that if they followed the law, their vote will be counted — and no matter who wins, that the final vote count will be legitimate.
This is a commitment made in every state, in every county, in every city and town across America: in states that lean Democrat and in states that lean Republican, on the West Coast and the East Coast, from Hawaii to the heartland. That’s our American tradition, and that is our law.
Over the next few days, we’ll see that our process is followed in Pennsylvania, we will see totals add up until 100% of the ballots are in, winners will be determined and the will of the voters will be heard.
Pennsylvania is committed to following the law and making sure that the count is accurate. We owe that to our neighbors, to everyone who voted, and to the local public servants in our communities who are counting the votes. US elections are run by counties, and the laws they follow are set by each state. That’s a fact of our federal system of government: each state runs their election differently — and that’s OK. In Pennsylvania, we’d rather take another day to get it right.
So, stay calm. Take a deep breath. Your social media feeds don’t actually know what’s going to happen. We don’t need punditry and second-by-second analysis. Give our communities’ public servants time to accurately count the votes.
As the attorney general for Pennsylvania, my job is to enforce the laws of the commonwealth. My office does not count the votes; we protect that process. We will not stand for baseless attacks on our election system and we are fully prepared to defend our laws.
The will of the voters must be heard — and the only way to know their will is to count every legal vote.
It’s possible — and perhaps likely, that this election results in a divided government. What’s clear to me is that the continued escalation of partisan rhetoric does not serve, nor does it represent, the interests, needs and will of the people. Americans showed up, voted peacefully, and are trusting the process.
As an elected official myself, I believe our leaders must always speak with moral clarity — but especially in the coming weeks. We should reflect on the example set by Americans who, in the most heated election in recent memory, peacefully went to the polls, voted and upheld the process. Let’s live up to that example, follow the law and the process, and count every legal vote.
This is a large country, with an incredible diversity of beliefs and experiences — and election laws. Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the nation, where the first words of the Declaration of Independence were drafted, where our Constitution was framed, where soldiers in Gettysburg gave their last full measure of devotion for the cause of freedom. Our commonwealth will live up to its history: we will continue to abide our state election laws in counting the votes from this election, and we will do all we can to protect the right to vote shared by every citizen.
My commitment to you is this: we will take the time to get an accurate count of every legal vote, and at the end of the process, no matter the result, the people’s voice will decide where our country goes, together.