WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With no presidential winner named as votes are counted for a third day, everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting to see if Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden won the contest.
And even after a victor is projected, President Trump has set himself to challenge a Biden win. He’s already requested a recount in Wisconsin and filed suit in three states.
While an extended period without a winner isn’t the norm, it’s certainly not the only time in U.S. history. And while many signs point to a Biden win, it’s always possible Trump will refuse to concede once the results become more clear.
The folks at Smithsonian Magazine outlined a few times when the process took days — and the results were questioned by the candidates:
1876: Hayes vs. Tilden
The election of 1876 was marred by voter intimidation against Republican Black voters throughout Southern states.
Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, states that had GOP leadership, invalidated a number of votes and swayed the results from Samuel Tilden to Rutherford B. Hayes. The move allowed Hayes to capture a 185-184 majority in the Electoral College.
The contested results ultimately went to a bipartisan commission established by Congress. Through some negotiations and politicking inside the group, the contested votes were awarded to Hayes.
In return for Democrats agreeing not to contest that result, Republicans ended Reconstruction and military occupation in the South.
1888: Cleveland vs. Harrison
A bribery scandal rocked the election of 1888 as a key player in the Republican National Committee reportedly offered bribes in exchange for voting for Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison.
Democrats got ahold of a bribery letter and made it public. Even so, their incumbent candidate, Grover Cleveland, lost the race.
Cleveland decided not to contest the results and was able to return four years later and defeat Harrison. It made him the only president to serve non-consecutive terms in office.
1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon
The 1960 election had some of the closest results in presidential politics, with John F. Kennedy defeating Richard Nixon by 100,000 votes.
Republicans questioned results in a number of tight states but focused their attention on Illinois. They believed Richard Daley, who later became mayor of Chicago, did something illegal to generate votes in the state and ultimately win the race for Kennedy.
Multiple right-leaning journalists declared voter fraud took place, but Nixon did not contest the results.
2000: Bush vs. Gore
Certainly, you haven’t forgotten this one.
This race came down to the state of Florida and a dispute centered on outdated ballot technology used in the state. Many felt a “butterfly ballot” led to confusion among voters who may have selected the wrong candidate.
With just 537 votes between the two candidates, the issue went to the courts. A Dec. 12 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that no additional vote could be counted ultimately led Al Gore to concede the race to George W. Bush.