Presidential Election 2020

The 2020 general election started off like no other. With coronavirus still looming, the elections were a lot more different than any other year. Mail-in ballots were strongly encouraged to people who could not go to the polls, or were concerned about catching COVID before Election Day which would prohibit them from going to the polls. Because of the vast amount of people who trusted mail-in ballots, there was not a clear answer of who the president was until Saturday, November 7, four days after Election Day.

Usually, the morning after the results of Election Day have been calculated, the American people will know who the president would be for the next four years. However, the narrative was different this year. Former Vice President Joe Biden—now President-Elect—was able to flip the projections of Georgia and Pennsylvania on the Friday after Election Day, which were two vital states he needed to take the lead to reach the 270 Electoral College votes. Saturday morning, Pennsylvania was confirmed for a Democratic lead, securing the presidential election for Biden.

It is important to note that Biden was not always leading in Pennsylvania and Georgia because of the votes being counted on Election Day. Some states, like Ohio, began counting their mail-in ballots and early voting votes before Election Day, so that there would not be much of a delay in results. Ohio was leaning towards Democrat, but it flipped after Election Day because Republicans waited until Election Day to secure their vote. Texas was also leaning Democrat because of their early voting votes and mail-in ballots being counted, but then flipped Republican afterward. 

However, CNN announced that not all state officials are allowed to begin counting their absentee ballots until Election Day. For example, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan were not about to count their ballots until Election Day began. They had to go through a delicate process of opening the mail-in ballots, scanning them, correcting them if the voter did not follow directions of bubbling the candidates correctly, and matching their signature with the signature on their ID. Pennsylvania alone had about 2.5 million mail-in ballots mailed in that had to be counted. State officials wanted each ballot to be processed correctly and diligently so that there would be no errors. Not only that, but mail-in ballots were still allowed to be counted as long as they were postmarked before or on Election Day.

Prior to Election Day, mail-in ballots and early voting were strongly encouraged by the Democratic Party to take advantage of if someone could not go directly to the polls because of the pandemic. The Republican Party, however, encouraged their voters to go vote on Election Day. These two different methods of voting led to a drastic delay in results because mail-in ballots took a while to be processed and confirmed. Republicans stacked up votes on Election Day, but Democrats were able to overturn those results with the mail-in votes.

Pennsylvania and Georgia projected blue three days after Election Day even though they were strongly red during Election Day because of the mail-in ballots being counted that were majority geared towards Biden. After Pennsylvania was confirmed, Biden was able to secure 270 Electoral College votes to become the 46th President of the United States. The Associated Press, NBC News, ABC News, and CNN all have called the 2020 election between Joseph R. Biden and Donald J. Trump. Kamala Harris has been named Vice President-Elect and is the first woman and woman of color to hold the position of being the vice president.

Per the New York Times, President Trump refuses to concede and instead is fighting the results. He has stated that he will seek legal action to recount the votes in close states, like Georgia. On November 11, Georgia said that they will do a recount by hand to make sure their counting is correct. However, even if Georgia were to flip to Republican, Donald Trump will still not have the needed 270 Electoral College votes. 

President Trump has highly criticized voting by mail and stating that it could lead to widespread voter fraud. Fraud through mail-in ballots has never been widespread because officials analyzing the votes know what to look out for. The New York Times lists the versification of mail-in ballots that serve to verify the voter: the state checks to make sure the person is not registered somewhere else and verifies personal information through date of birth and Social Security number; each ballot has its own scan that can be tracked by the voter; their signature must match what is on file; and during the counting process, all cameras are in in the building where anyone can view the process. 

While it is clear that President Trump will continue to fight the election results until the very end, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris will take office on January 20, 2021.