As predicted, a winner has yet to be announced in the 2020 presidential election and as of Wednesday, mail-in and absentee ballots were still being counted.

At press time on Wednesday votes from crucial battleground states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan were still being counted. A total of 270 Electoral College votes are needed from Republican incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Reports indicate that millions of ballots need to be counted due to the mass number of mail-in ballots. Many Americans voted by mail this election cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We knew this was going to go long,” Biden said. “We feel good about where we are. We really do. I’m here to tell you tonight we believe we’re on track to win this election. I’m optimistic about this outcome.”

However, Trump assured his supporters on election night that he already won. He also stayed consistent with his message that the election was rigged as votes were being counted on Wednesday.

“Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight, and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people,” he said. “And we won’t stand for it. We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election.”

Several New York politicians and leaders are weighing in on the election as votes continue to be counted. During a press briefing on Wednesday, Deputy Mayor Phillip J. Thompson said that in total, 1.1 million people voted early, 1.2 million people voted on Election Day and 1.1 million people requested absentee ballots. He added that Election Day numbers could equal or surpass the highest turnout the city’s ever had in a presidential election.

“It shows how much New Yorkers care about our democracy. Overall, yesterday was an incredibly smooth day,” Thompson said. “There were a few lines because of early voting, high spirits everywhere.”

In an interview, Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens said it was no surprise that Biden won New York, but nationally is a different story.

“This president made it alright for the ugly head of racism to rise up again,” Dickens said. “That’s what we’re seeing. I believe Biden is going to win. He’s ahead with the Electoral College and he’s ahead with the popular vote. It’s just that it’s very close. With the remaining states with the excessive number of paper ballots so many of the states had, there could be a flipping.”

NAACP New York State Conference President Hazel Dukes was on the frontlines to get people registered and turned out to vote. Nationally the organization is ensuring that every vote is counted.

“I am like all Americans, praying for a joyful outcome,” Dukes said. “On Tuesday evening I prayed with the Abyssinian Baptist Church prayer line from 9 to 10 p.m., then I went for a peaceful rest. I think we will be victorious.”

In a joint statement, a coalition of civil rights activist including Rev. Al Sharpton Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, and National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial demanded that all votes be counted.

he American people have expressed their will through the power of their vote, and their voice must be respecte,” they said. “For democracy to work for all of us, each and every voter must be heard. This is not about party, candidates, or agendas, but rather about the promise of our democracy that ensures no voters are silenced. Despite a global pandemic and extraordinary voter suppression throughout the election season, voters participated in this election in historic numbers in the 2020 election.”

Brooklyn State Sen. Zellnor Myrie said that more New Yorkers voted than ever before. While Biden has been declared the winner in New York, votes are also still being counted here.

“While we’re still waiting for the results to come in, here is what we do know: New York is headed for a record turnout, with over 2.5 million people voting early across the state,” Myrie said. “Voters were able to request their absentee ballots earlier than ever before, and had more opportunities and more time to complete and return them. Voters who made minor errors on their ballot, like forgetting to sign in the correct place or sealing the envelope with tape, will have an opportunity to correct those errors and have their votes counted. The stakes in this election are extremely high.”

In a statement, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said votes in several races still need to be counted leading to an even stronger Democratic legislative body in Albany.

“With the record high number of outstanding absentee ballots that are overwhelmingly Democratic, we will add even more victories to our majority as the vote counts continue,” she said. “The Senate Democratic Majority will continue to lead New York State forward as we recover from this pandemic and economic crisis.”

Black Lives Matter Chairman and Co-Founder Hawk Newsome said during an interview that the outcome of the election so far reveals a lot about where the nation stands on race. Millions of Americans voted for Trump, who condemns Black Lives Matter and appeals to white supremacists.

“I think white America sent a strong message to all of us during this election,” he said. They let us know exactly where they stand. That this is their country. They will do anything possible to maintain control of this country. A lot of the allyship in the wake of George Floyd has been hypocritical. A large number of white people do not have our backs.”