Halloween decorations urging people to vote in the upcoming presidential election are displayed in front of a home on October…
Halloween decorations urging people to vote in the upcoming presidential election are displayed in front of a home on Oct. 30, 2020, in Sierra Madre, California.

Saturday, with just three days of campaigning left before Election Day in the United States, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden focused on battleground states, with Trump visiting Pennsylvania while the former vice president traveled to Michigan.

Trump held four rallies Saturday in cities across Pennsylvania, where he narrowly won in 2016 and where polls currently show Biden with a slight advantage.

Trump’s first rally was in Newtown, where he criticized the U.S. Supreme Court for refusing a Republican Party effort to block a three-day extension for Pennsylvania election officials to receive absentee ballots, meaning the court would not intercede in the state’s vote count.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at a campaign drive-in mobilization event in Flint, Mich., Oct. 31, 2020.

“This is a horrible thing that the United States Supreme Court has done to our country,” he said. “We have to know who won.”

On the final rally in Montoursville, Trump confirmed that he had signed an executive order that called on the Energy Department to lead a study on the effects of restricting fracking. Fracking for natural gas is a major source of jobs in western Pennsylvania. Trump has accused Biden of planning to ban fracking if elected, something Biden denies.

Trump also thanked U.S. Special Forces for an operation carried out in northern Nigeria on Saturday to rescue an American citizen being held by armed men.

The Pentagon did not identify the person, but the Reuters news agency cited an unnamed U.S. official as saying that he was 27-year-old Philip Walton, who was kidnapped earlier in the week.

Trump won Pennsylvania by a narrow margin in 2016. Reuters/Ipsos polls show Trump trailing Biden by 5 percentage points in the state.

President Donald Trump applauds during a campaign rally at Keith House-Washington's Headquarters in Newtown, Pa., Oct. 31, 2020.

Biden attended events alongside former President Barack Obama for the first time during the campaign season. The two visited the cities of Flint and Detroit the first of two days the campaign will spend in Michigan to garner voter support.

In Flint, Michigan, Biden focused on Trump’s handling of the pandemic.  “We’re gonna beat this virus and get it under control and the first step to doing that is beating Donald Trump," Biden said.

Biden’s campaign issued a statement later Saturday in reaction to estimates by Stanford University that from June to September, President Trump’s rallies led to an additional 30,000 COVID-19 infections and as many as 700 deaths. The paper is based on a statistical model, not an investigation and is not peer reviewed.

"Trump doesn't even care about the very lives of his strongest supporters," Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.

Politico reported that the White House called the study "flawed," describing it as a politicized attempt to shame Trump supporters.

National polls typically show Biden with a lead of 7 or 8 percentage points over Trump, although the margin is about half that in several key battleground states that are likely to determine the outcome in the Electoral College.

According to an average of major polls compiled by the website Real Clear Politics, Biden and Trump are virtually tied in the battleground states of Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina, while the president trails the former vice president in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Americans are voting early for Tuesday’s presidential election in unprecedented numbers, a product of strong feelings for or against the two main candidates and a desire to avoid large Election Day crowds at polling stations during the pandemic.

More than 92 million people had voted as of Saturday, well above half the overall 2016 vote count of 138.8 million, according to the U.S. Elections Project. 

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.