A satisfying closure, after a divisive presidential election campaign, is what many Americans might most wish for. But they may have to wait awhile longer. President Donald Trump is pressing on with legal challenges to overturn Mr Joe Biden's victory in numerous states - Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada. Georgia is in the midst of a recount and the results from North Carolina are awaited. To prevail, Mr Trump must prove there was systemic fraud, of which there is little evidence thus far. Starting this week, a number of states will begin certifying the election results, narrowing Mr Trump's legal path further and putting additional pressure on him to abandon his quest. Some pundits suggest that Mr Trump is lingering in the arena as he needs to keep his supporters mobilised.
In the balance is a run-off election for two Senate seats in Georgia on Jan 5 - critical for the Republicans if they are to retain and assert control over Mr Biden's governance agenda and Cabinet appointments. Mr Trump's own ambition, a presidential run in 2024, may also be a factor. It is plausible, too, that his claim that he was cheated of an election victory may afford him the most wriggle room against criminal probes into his business practices once he leaves office. In any case, the American system allows for a drawn-out transition: The new president is sworn in on Jan 20 as mandated by the Constitution. Before that, states must sort out disputes over the next three weeks.