America returns to the polls for Election Day 2020
Nearly 100 million Americans have already cast their ballots as of Election Day and amid the world's worst pandemic in a century, when a total of 9.3 million Americans battling COVID-19, a high voter turnout is still expected at polling locations across the country on Tuesday.
November 3 marks the last day for Americans to decide who they want as Commander in Chief.
At a time when the U.S. is confronted by multiple crises, its citizens will cast their votes for the candidate who they believe has the most effective vision for the future.
Most will decide whether they support President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden's plan for steering the nation through the coronavirus pandemic, numerous outcries related to racial injustice, and through recent uprisings of civil unrest.
Though each candidate seeks to improve the country's economy and solidarity, Mr. Trump and former Vice President Biden have wildly different approaches to achieving this goal.
Their supporters, increasingly polarized, have been vocal in their support of their party's candidate.
This increasing polarization has some officials concerned as to whether or not their community's Election Day voting will unfold peacefully.
On that note, the Associated Press reports that each major party can install official poll watchers at precincts, marking the first time in decades that Republicans could use the practice after the expiration of a court order limiting their activities.
So, it’s an open question how aggressive those official poll watchers will be in monitoring voters or even challenging eligibility.
The Associated Press goes on to say that the bigger issue is likely to be unofficial “poll watchers” — especially self-declared militias. Voter intimidation is illegal, during the Sept. 29 presidential debate, Mr. Trump notably refused to state plainly that he’d accept election results and instead said he is “urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.”
In Michigan, where federal authorities recently arrested members of anti-government paramilitary groups in an alleged plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic secretary of state tried to impose a ban on carrying firearms openly at a polling place. A Michigan judge struck down the order.
This evening, as the last votes are cast and polling locations close, the next question is when the results will be revealed.
The Associated Press notes that absentee voting amid coronavirus has changed the vote-counting timeline, and there aren’t uniform practices for counting across the states. That makes it difficult to predict when certain key battlegrounds might be called.
For example, Pennsylvania and Michigan — battlegrounds Trump won by less than 1 percentage point in 2016 — aren’t expected to have complete totals for days. Florida and North Carolina, meanwhile, began processing early ballots ahead of time, with officials there forecasting earlier unofficial returns. But those two states also could have razor-thin margins.
Early returns, meanwhile, could show divergent results. Biden’s expected to lead comfortably among early voters, who tend to skew toward Democrats. President
Trump is likely to counter with a lead among Election Day voters. Depending on which counties report which batch of votes first, perennially close states could tempt eager partisans to reach conclusions that aren’t necessarily accurate.
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