Major news networks, including NBC News, CBS News and the Associated Press declared Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, but the election isn't over yet.
The media's declaration, of course, isn't official, but rather just the best estimation of the networks' political experts.
There are still a lot of votes to count and Federal law allows states to finalize election results until December 8. The extra time gives officials in each state to determine the validity of provisional ballots and to count overseas military ballots.
The losing candidate can also request recounts, which President Trump has already done in Wisconsin, however, the President would be responsible for paying for them if the margin isn't close enough for an automatic recount.
According to media projections on Saturday, Biden has surpassed the necessary 270 electoral college votes to win the race, but when are those electoral votes actually cast?
Electors from each state sign and seal certificates containing their votes for President and Vice President. There are six certificates, with one sent to Congress, two to the Secretary of State in their respective states, two go to the National Archives and the final one is sent to the court of the district in which the electors have assembled.
Though 270 is the magic number to win the presidency, the number of votes earned by each candidate could fluctuate if "faithless" electors decide to vote for someone other than the candidate who won the state. Washington residents might remember four electors not voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and though this has become more common in past decades, according to PolitiFact, it's never been enough to change the outcome of the election.
"There are some exotic potential scenarios that could change this process. Biden could win Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania, and the Republican-controlled legislature in one or more of those states could overrule its voters, presenting Congress with a slate of Trump electors. (Pennsylvania legislators have pledged not to take this route)," PolitiFact added. "If any state did this, the situation would have to be sorted out by Congress. But this would be a drastic move, and there’s no indication yet that this will happen."
If all goes to plan, the electoral results become officials when they are counted in Congress on January 6.