Results of the 2020 Election

Results+of+the+2020+Election

Raymond Ashkenazie ’24

The 2020 election is finally over and in the past. This election was very contentious with a highly charged political climate on both sides of the aisle, which fueled the largest voter turnout in history. 73.7 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots while young voters and people of color made their voices heard by voting in record numbers. This percentage of voter turnout is crucial for the future of America and the future of the youth vote..  An overwhelming majority of African Americans, Latinos, Asians, young people, and LGBTQ Americans voted for Joe Biden. The Democrats voted in strong numbers because they were afraid that their equal human rights and health care would be taken away. There was an overwhelming number of issues on the ballot in this election, including the future of healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, climate change, Supreme Court nominees, gun restrictions, the right to an abortion, and gay marriage. 

The Democrats had urged Americans to vote by mail and vote early because of health concerns, while we witnessed Republicans trying to suppress the vote, delegitimize legal votes, and intimidate voters. They tried to make it more challenging to cast and tally votes with charges of fictitious voter fraud that took place before, during, and after the counting of the ballots. Republicans sued to stop voting by mail while there is a public health crisis taking place. After the election, President Trump has unsuccessfully sued to stop the counting of legal votes.

Fifty-five years after the passing of the Voting Rights Act and 100 years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the essence of our democracy is critically at risk. I believe that we have learned in this election that our system needs reform. Americans have had a legitimate fear of violence in the aftermath of the election; voters were concerned that their votes would not be counted; politicians were undermining confidence in the electoral process and attempting to prevent votes from being counted, and there has been no dialogue about a peaceful transition of power. A democracy can not thrive or function under these conditions. But while President Trump tapped into a scary sense of anger, bigotry, religiosity, and racism, we have seen that Republicans and Democrats vote for unity instead of division. President-Elect Joe Biden ran on hope and unity. However, Democrats did not see a blue wave as they did in 2018. The Democrats lost ten seats in the house (mainly moderate Democrats like representatives Max Rose and Joe Cunningham) and will likely gain a few seats in the senate, but not enough to gain the majority. We have learned in this election that the moderate and progressive wings in the Democratic party are divided and if they do not work together, there will be many lost seats in the House of Representatives. A recurring theme in recent elections has been voter suppression which is undermining our elections and may cause the end of our democracy. 

President Trump is refusing to concede, demanding that vote counting halt in some places and yet continue in others, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went very far to predict and promise a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” President Trump is currently  undermining President-Elect Biden’s victory by not having a smooth transition of power. A smooth transition of power is necessary to protect national security, our democracy and the American people. U.S. Presidents usually work to smooth paths forward so that the next President will have a solid foundation to begin with. President Trump is abandoning these traditions which could do deep damage to our trust in peaceful and fair elections and our very important tradition of a peaceful transition of power. His refusing to concede is not only disrespectful to the American people but completely disgraceful. The American people are ready to move on and accept Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, however Trump is preventing the American people from move on.