As votes continue to be counted in every state, the path for President Donald Trump’s reelection appears to have narrowed. The routine process of counting votes – done every election – has garnered a lot more attention this cycle. Votes legally received by mail will be counted. Those votes are skewing toward Democratic candidate Joe Biden in 2020. North Dakota’s Republican US Senator Kevin Cramer told KNOX radio in Grand Forks President Trump made a tactical error in his approach to vote by mail.

Cramer is right. The rules were set. Campaigns were aware of what was legal. Instead of encouraging his supporters to utilize this routine method of voting, Trump spread lies about the integrity of the system. The tweets frustrated GOP operatives who claimed it would put them in a deficit of votes in a pandemic. It appears that may be true in the swing states still counting ballots as the world waits.

Every state has set up its own rules when votes will be counted. The “processing” a.k.a. counting of ballots can vary depending on the method each voter used in each state. Election day, early in-person, and vote-by-mail tabulations come in at different times depending on where you live.

As I write this, the world is watching Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Pennsylvania may be the tipping point in the presidential race. Trump had a few hundred thousand vote lead on election night as election-day votes were instantly counted. That lead has winnowed down as mail-in ballots are being counted. That method was overwhelmingly used by Democratic voters. It has led to Trump demanding in all caps to “STOP THE COUNT.”

I’ve fielded a lot of questions on my KFGO radio show wondering why the “processing” of mail ballots couldn’t have started sooner in places like Pennsylvania. The answer is simple. The Republican Legislature in their state refused to allow it. There is a lot of speculation as to why they turned away common sense. Perhaps they wanted the chaos to bolster conspiracy theories and out-right lies about how democracy is conducted in America.

By contrast, North Dakota’s election went smoothly. Republican Governor Doug Burgum, recognizing there would be a dramatic influx in votes being sent by mail, issued an executive order to allow counties to begin processing them earlier than normal. It made sense. Nobody disputes the results of ND’s elections that went solidly Republican. Isn’t it interesting how results that often land favorably for Republicans never get pressed on “fraud?”

As democracy plays out in America, panic seems to have set in for Trump’s reelection chances. The President’s sons are wondering where the GOP is to defend their father while legal votes are counted. They likely never thought Kevin Cramer would abandon them by pointing his finger at the campaign’s flawed approach to vote-by-mail. Be patient as officials count all the votes legally cast.

Tyler Axness