2020 Election, Opinions

Every vote counts

Tuesday night in the Daily Forty-Niner newsroom, our group of student journalists watched the polls across several news sites nervously counting the incoming Electoral College and the swing states, while updating our readers on the latest election results.

An hour and a half after the California polls closed at 8 p.m., Former Vice President and Democratic candidate Joseph R. Biden addressed his voters confident that he would win the election, although he insisted it would take longer to count all the ballots due to the mass of early and mail-in ballots. 

As local elections solidified and the results of Propositions announced, two hours later, President Donald J. Trump also took the time to address his voters. 

He was triumphant, declaring his preemptive victory in states that had not yet been decided and claiming he had won by a large margin in Florida, where he narrowly beat Biden only by 3%.

The most shocking statement of the night was when Trump declared that he would attempt to stop the counting of ballots, declaring himself already to be the winner in this election. 

Not only was this statement highly inaccurate as there are yet to be thousands of ballots to be counted in the states of Pennsylvania and Michigan, this is the dark underbelly of Trump’s America. 

The beginning of Trump’s presidency began tumultuously amid accusations of Russian interference and his victory only by the Electoral College. He would continue to undermine faith in our political institutions by publically tweeting in grandiose all caps with equally wild claims,starting contentious Twitter threads unbecoming of his role of holding the highest office of our country.

More reality television than serious content, he promised to “drain the swamp” only to bring in his own gilded cabinet of political cronies who lacked expertise in the departments they would run. 

Betsy DeVos,secretary of public education who once suggested guns in classrooms would deter the dangers of wild bears. 

Some were driven to dismantle and defund the institutions which they were given stewardship, like Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, who previously ran our Environmental Protection Agency. 

Latest in this string of debacles and turning the presidency into laughing stock, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping is held in higher regard by world leaders than Donald Trump.

Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination and approval to the Supreme Court was rushed right after the passing of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, just a month before the presidential election. 

On the night of Nov. 3, Donald Trump promised to capitalize on that investment and cash his cow, so to speak. He said he plans to bring the issue of ending the count of the ballots early to the Supreme Court. The conservative majority of six to three is sure to tip in his favor, three of the newest justices of which were appointed under his four year term. 

This is the grossest violation of the principles in our democracy. Republican or Democrat, we should all be affronted by this attack on our values. The foundation of our hope and belief in our government is based on fair and equitable elections. 

Our sitting president has declared victory before the results have been clearly counted. This is tantamount to a regime in which the American people will not have a say.

There should be bipartisan support to make sure that no voter is disenfranchised of their right to vote. Without faith in our institutions, we will fall further prey to divisions and fear of extremism and violence. 

Just this election cycle, gun purchases have spiked, with people citing fear of social unrest from this election. While Biden encouraged voters to be patient, Trump taking the opposite tack has stoked the growing fires even further. With the results of this election cast in further doubt and strong indicators of foreign interference, the axis of our ability to function cohesively as a nation will tilt deeper into disrepair. 

The stakes are higher than ever with our country suffering the highest coronavirus casualties in the world and suffering an extended economic downturn in an unprecedented recession that has impacted our most vulnerable communities. 

We have to make this election count.

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