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Home / US / The 2020 election was successful, not a disaster

The 2020 election was successful, not a disaster

  • The results of the 2020 presidential election and a number of key congressional races have yet to be determined.
  • Whoever wins, America can celebrate the end of a successful presidential election with far fewer problems than expected.
  • Seasoned electoral officials and ordinary citizens stepped up to avoid the many nightmare scenarios that were predicted at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US.
  • A record number of Americans voted by mail or in person with few common issues, and voting in person on Election Day was smooth and orderly.
  • Visit the Business Insider home page for more news.

The morning after the 2020 election, many Americans felt a mixture of confusion, anxiety, and ̵

1; for some Democrats – even saddened by the initial results of the dreadful election.

Contrary to the pink painting drawn by some polls and election forecasts, the results of the presidential race have yet to be determined, the Democrats have a thin path to retake the US Senate, and many House representatives lost the re-election.

But no matter how the presidential election and other important races unfold, voters, election officials and dedicated volunteers have helped keep the 2020 general election largely safe. And certainly in the face of a pandemic there are clear winners in this electoral cycle.

When the coronavirus hit the United States, it added stress to electoral offices, many of which were short of staff and short of staff, while tightening the budgets of local and state governments. Nearly overnight, local election officials were faced with a large shortage of available poll staff and a skyrocketing demand for voting by mail.

After several states encountered serious problems with both mail and in-person elections in their primary, headlines warned for months about impending, chaotic elections. widespread with mail ballots, interruptions at the US Postal Service, problems with direct voting and a dispute of counting votes over an increase in mail ballots may even reach Congress or the Tribunal Supreme.

On top of that, some experts worry that the hyperpolarized political environment and some of President Donald Trump’s extreme rhetoric suggest that the presence of widespread voter fraud will lead to unrest and even pressures of violence at individual or militia polling stations.


People lined up to vote on Tuesday morning.

Ben Hasty / MediaNews Group / Reading Eagle via Getty Images

‘If there are no problems, we should be worried’

But despite those challenges, the United States has seen historic early turnout of voters and is on track to achieve record-breaking overall votes. The US Elections Project’s early voting data database indicates that 100 million Americans voted early in person or by mail by 2020, compared with 57.2 million who did so. in 2016.

High turnout rates are not mutually exclusive with problems in electoral administration or even attempts to suppress the vote. There are some administrative problems caused by human error in 2020, like in every election and efforts by some state officials in places like Texas to limit voting.

In expanding the size of postal voting, some counties have had problems attracting voters to vote on time. Printing errors in places like Pennsylvania and New York caused ballots to be sent to the wrong voters. And last minute court battles over electoral rules confuse voters.

Voters in many jurisdictions also have to wait hours and hours to vote in person due to insufficient resources or logistics issues at locations in states including Georgia and New York.

But instead of an election ruined by chaos, electoral issues, and civil unrest, the 2020 general election will be remembered as a general election with voters. and record-high participation, including by mail, and an unprecedented number of citizens to serve the community as electoral staff.

And the fact that we know about the problems that happened shows how the system works exactly as it should.

“A presidential election is an election in which 150 million Americans do something very unusual in a short amount of time in a process run by one million volunteers. If there are no problems. , we should be worried, “David Becker, CEO of the Center for Election Research and Innovation, told reporters ahead of Election Day. “There will always be some problems in the elections. They come in waves. They are fragmentary. They’re part of the human situation.”

Election Day also went smoothly and nothing unusual for a pandemic election, thanks in part to the unprecedented number of Americans who voted early and many became poll workers and helped. help at live poll locations.

The nightmare scenario didn’t play out and the 2020 election was a success

While there are some sporadic issues with some polling stations not opening on time, equipment not being delivered in the morning, faulty technology, and voter intimidation attempts – all on par with the lock study in any election – there are very few reports of long lines and no widespread turmoil at polling stations.

“We are on the way to a very successful Election Day and an election season characterized by the number of outgoing voters,” said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Law Committee on Civil Rights under the Law. record voting during early voting time and record attendance records by mail “The Election Protection Hotline operator, told reporters on Tuesday, added that she did not see” major system problems or attempts to impede “voting on Election Day”.

The Illinois voting machine coronavirus glove

A rubber glove elector goes to the Chicago primary ballot on March 17.

Photo AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

In addition to the tremendous success of scaling mail-voting, the 2020 presidential election is among the safest from foreign interference and technology holes in memory. Lately, experts like Becker have said, in large part, due to the widespread use of paper ballots and verifiable paper slotted voting.

US officials have launched a wide-ranging effort to warn Americans of election meddling attempts from foreign adversaries, including Russia, China and Iran. And in the days and weeks leading up to Election Day, Paul Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency, told reporters that foreign adversaries intervened less than before the 2018 midterm elections.

The country’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials released a video last month reassuring voters about the safety and integrity of the election and against many of the total conspiracy theories. voter fraud and mail ballot statistics.

John Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence, said that Russia and Iran are trying to “influence public opinion” before the election. He said that the Russian and Iranian actors had obtained some voter registration data, although as ProPublica’s Jessica Huseman notes, most of that information is public and Ratcliffe’s disclosure does not say whether there is. any electoral system was violated or not.

FBI Director Christopher Wray says that no matter how voters vote, “rest assured that election security – and protecting your ballot – is and will continue to be one of the highest priorities. ours.” And William Evanina, the top counter-espionage official in the US, opposed to Trump’s statement about foreign interference in mail ballots, saying that “it would be difficult for opponents to intervene or manipulate the results. votes on a large scale. “

The day after Election Day, the nation’s top cybersecurity agency also rejected Trump’s claim that the election results in key battlefield states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were fraudulent because the candidate led top statewide total votes changed from Trump to Biden as more votes were processed.

The Network Security and Infrastructure Agency marked the following statement as “rumor”: “If the results reported on election night change in the days or weeks that follow, the process is hacked. public or compromised, so I can’t trust the results. “

The reality is that “reporting election results may take place more slowly than in previous years,” the agency said. “This does not indicate any problem with the counting of votes or the results. Official results are not certified until all valid votes have been counted, including those that have been cast. calculated after election night. “

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