A election worker moves a tray of ballots as vote counting in the general election continues at State Farm Arena on Thursday,…
FILE - A election worker moves a tray of ballots as vote counting in the general election continues at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Nov. 5, 2020.

Election security officials have no evidence that ballots were deleted or lost by voting systems in this month's U.S. election, two security groups said in a statement released Thursday by the lead U.S. cybersecurity agency. 

"There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised," the groups said about the November 3 election won by Joe Biden, a Democrat. 

Republican President Donald Trump has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and has yet to concede. 

The groups, the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee (GCC) and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), said the election was the most secure in U.S. history. 

"While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections and you should, too," the groups said in the statement released by the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). 

CISA, led by the top U.S. cybersecurity official, Christopher Krebs, runs a website that debunks misinformation about the election. 

The security groups said all the states with close results in the race have paper records of each vote, which can be counted if necessary.  
 

What Happens Next?

What It Means to Become President-Elect in the US

In the United States, Democrat Joe Biden is being called the president-elect.

President-elect is a descriptive term not an official office. As such, Biden has no power in the government, and he would not until he is inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.

American news networks, which track all of the vote counting, determined on November 7 that Biden’s lead had become insurmountable in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to be president. Within minutes of determining his lead was mathematically assured, they projected him as the winner.

That is why news organizations, including VOA, are calling Biden the "projected winner."

Sometimes, in the case of particularly close elections, when news networks make this call, the other candidate does not concede victory. President Donald Trump has not done so, alleging voter fraud without substantial evidence and vowing to fight on. The president’s position has left Washington lawmakers divided, with Republicans backing a legal inquiry into allegations of vote fraud, even as they celebrate other congressional lawmakers who won their races.

When will the dispute be resolved?

The U.S. election won’t be officially certified for weeks. In the meantime, court challenges and state recounts could occur.

So far, the Trump administration has not provided evidence for any fraud that could overturn the result, but there is still time for more legal challenges.

Once states have certified the vote, pledged electors then cast their votes in the Electoral College in mid-December. Congress then certifies the overall Electoral College result in early January, about two weeks before Inauguration Day.