Election Coverage

Carley McGovern, Writer

Anyone living in the United States right now could tell you that the buildup to the 2020 Election has been more intense than any previous year. Politicians this year spent more money on advertising than ever before, meaning those of us who watch television have been inundated with seemingly endless political content. It can be easy to get lost in all of the different sources and black holes of information, so here is a brief overview of everything that has happened thus far.

Prior to the actual election day, over 100 million absentee ballots were cast. This is extremely high compared to the 47 million that were cast in 2016, but even more incredible is that the amount of absentee ballots cast in 2020 neared the total number of ballots cast in 2016. Although many voters found themselves turning to an absentee ballot because of safety reasons related to COVID-19, not everyone was a fan. In particular, President Trump has spoken out against mail-in ballots multiple times. He has repeatedly claimed that these ballots contribute to voter fraud, although currently, there is no evidence supporting this point.

Another element of the election that proved to be stressful was the delayed results. We have never had full results on election night, but we have usually had enough information to call the race. This year, we were unable to call the race until the Saturday following Election Day. This was due to two main reasons: the absentee ballots previously mentioned and the close nature of the race. Some states were legally not allowed to begin counting absentee ballots until Election Day, which delayed results. While we can usually still declare a winner, even when we don’t have all the results, this year’s race was simply too close to know until the majority of votes were counted.

On Saturday, Joe Biden was officially projected the winner by multiple sources with 306 electoral votes, leaving President Trump with 232.

There were many “upsets” that helped Biden score his needed 270 votes, like gaining swing states including Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin, to name a few. While the majority of vote counts have been completed and even recounted, President Trump and his campaign, along with many Republicans in Congress, have refused to acknowledge the loss. President Trump is still attempting to take some states to court over fraudulent vote count claims, which have not been proven in any states so far. In addition to refusing to concede, the Trump campaign will not release necessary information to the Biden campaign. This information could be extremely useful by giving Biden a head start formulating plans for the COVID-19 pandemic, like relief packages and distribution of a coming vaccine.