2020 Voter Turnout Breaks Records

Updated: Nov 10, 2020


Three days after Election Day, the country is still anxiously awaiting the outcome of arguably the most consequential and unprecedented election of our lifetimes. With political polarization truly taking its toll on Democrats and Republicans alike, both sides continue to question the opposing candidate’s ability to properly run the country, an argument which has been exacerbated by the immense closeness of this election. Even further, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented election, with over 92.1 million absentee ballots being sent to voters and more than 101.2 million ballots having already been cast, surpassing the voter turnout record set in 2016, according to The New York Times. On a smaller scale, the state of Illinois has reached 209% of the level of voter turnouts in 2016 as of November 3, Associated Press News reports.


Graph courtesy of Vox


After encouraging his supporters to vote in-person rather than requesting absentee ballots, President Donald Trump is accusing states of voter fraud in support of his opposing candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden. The president alleges that the election is being stolen from him and his supporters and that his opponent is “trying to rig an election.” This claim came after legal mail-in votes in Biden’s favor continued to be counted, specifically, when Trump led states Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia for a short time early on in the count. On Wednesday morning, Trump falsely announced having won the four states prior to all votes being counted.


In a speech on Thursday evening, the president continued to question the legitimacy of the count in response to votes continuing to be counted – resulting in him being on the brink of defeat – claiming that “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.” 


Later in the night, Trump suggested, “It’s amazing how those mail-in ballots are so one-sided,” insinuating that the mail-in votes were biased towards Biden. The disparities between both mail-in votes and in-person votes are due to Biden encouraging his supporters to vote through mail and Trump encouraging his supporters to vote in-person. Seemingly, nothing is suspicious about Biden’s votes coming through mail, rather, Trump is spreading misinformation to his supporters. 


Biden is currently leading in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, the latter and first of which are necessary to Trump’s campaign in order for him to win. Several news outlets have already called Arizona for Biden, while he is ahead of Trump by 1,097 votes in Georgia and by 21,749 votes in Pennsylvania as of Friday. The counting of votes in Nevada could potentially continue throughout the weekend, with Biden leading and only absentee ballots left to count. The outcome of this election will ultimately rely on these swing states, which are yet to be called.


Updates: Joe Biden was named the projected President-elect of the United States as his supporters in major cities take to the streets to celebrate his enormous win. As expected, Biden is said to lead the country out of its current and ongoing public health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. As exhibited by his official website, Biden claims he will listen to science, ensure public health decisions are informed by public health professionals, and reinstate the trust, transparency, and accountability to the U.S. government. Through a seven-point plan, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris plan to utilize a seven-point plan to defeat the pandemic:

  1. Guarantee reliable and free testing is available to all Americans.

  2. Increase the national supply of equipment such as masks and hand sanitizers.

  3. Follow and promote the guidelines instructed by the CDC to safely reopen schools and businesses.

  4. After investing $25 billion in a COVID-19 vaccine, ensure every American has equitable access to it.

  5. Through a Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force, insight will be offered regarding disparities present in public health disasters.

  6. Restore defenses that were dismantled by Trump in 2018, including the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense.

  7. Ensure each and every American continues to wear face coverings when surrounded by people outside of their household.

Similarly to the importance of the containment of COVID-19, Biden also plans to work towards affordable health care for all Americans. Following President Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of his latter term, over 100 million people had access to healthcare. However, in recent years, the Republican party has worked to dismantle the program. Biden plans to protect the Affordable Care Act and ensure every American has access to health insurance.


Since the initial announcement of his victory, Biden has taken to Twitter to thank his supporters, stating "I will be a President for all Americans – whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me."


Cover photo by Element 5 Digital from Unsplash


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