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Everybody knows it’s not over until it’s over

There’s a vast difference between the 5 million popular votes that separate Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the race to the White House and the small margin of 370 votes separating Trumbull County candidates Michael O’Brien and Martha Yoder in the race to the Ohio statehouse.

But the two political battles have one major thing in common.

Votes still being tallied might make all the difference. As they say, it ain’t over till it’s over.

Indeed, Democrats in Ohio’s 64th statehouse district, which covers parts of Trumbull and Ashtabula counties, probably don’t want to hear that any more than do Biden supporters nationwide.

In both races, conservative voters cling to hopes that remaining uncounted votes coupled with possible recounts, and (at least on the national front) court litigation, will turn the tables.

In case you missed it, O’Brien, D-Warren, is holding a thin lead in the Ohio House 64th District race. He was leading Republican challenger Martha Yoder on election night 22,975 to 22,605 — about 0.82 percent.

But that could change.

More than 1,400 ballots still wait to be counted before the election will be certified this week, officially naming the winner. Both Ashtabula and Trumbull boards of elections are scheduled to certify election results Wednesday.

On the national level, former Vice President Joe Biden is holding a lead in both popular and electoral votes. The Associated Press and many other national media organizations unofficially pronounced Biden the winner last weekend when projections indicated he surpassed the number of electoral votes needed by winning 24 states plus Washington, D.C.

According to those projections and as of this writing, Biden is sitting at 290 electoral votes, 20 beyond the needed 270.

Trump, meanwhile, is holding 217 electoral votes after winning 24 states.

The winner of two states, Georgia and North Carolina, which could bring a combined coveted 31 electoral votes, still remains unclear.

Just as we reported that O’Brien was the winner of his statehouse seat one day after the Nov. 3 election, we also published an Associated Press story on Nov. 8 projecting Biden the winner of the White House.

Some readers and Trump supporters pushed back on our Sunday morning coverage, calling it premature because there were still so many legal challenges and recounts to be pursued.

Indeed, this newspaper remains very cognizant that the presidential race has not been certified yet, nor dubbed “official.”

As such, we will continue to monitor it closely, and as always, we will try our best to share news coverage of all election races in the most accurate, fair and balanced way we know how.

That is always our intention regardless of the topic — political or otherwise — or any position we might have taken on our opinion page.

We try our best to never allow opinion nor innuendo to creep into our headlines or news stories. Despite some readers’ beliefs that our proclaiming Biden as president was showing a liberal slant, truly, our intent was simply to report that he had surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold. In our eyes, that was pretty big news and deserved the attention it received. And for the record, it received equal play to the 2016 front page when Trump was proclaimed the winner.

Like all reputable media organizations, we try hard to publish only stories with verifiable information attributed to specific sources.

We fully understand there will be disagreement on this very contentious election. This is America, after all, where debate, discourse and disagreement are permitted and even healthy at times.

We want to be the news organization providing the facts for such debate.

I assure you, just like the local O’Brien-Yoder race, we will continue to monitor and report on the presidential race. There will be mail-in ballots to count, ballot recounts in many states and legal challenges. We know it’s not over yet, and we will bring you the results as they continue to unfold, until the race is official and certified.

You can count on that — until it’s over.

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