The 2020 Presidential Election and Ballot Processing

John Dylan Bustillo ‘22, Guest Writer

Understandably, the past two weeks have been stressful for most Americans and the world at large, as the votes have been tallied in what certainly feels like one of the most consequential elections in recent history. At the time of writing this, the final two outstanding states of Georgia and North Carolina have been projected by most media outlets, giving President-Elect Biden a total of 306 electoral votes compared to President Trump’s 232. Ironically, this is the exact same electoral college breakdown from the 2016 election from which then President-Elect Trump deemed his victory to be a ‘mandate.’ However, this time around, what was then called a mandate now seems to be soured as, in a country more divided than ever, a consensus cannot be found as to what this victory means for the country, or even who won the election. To this latter point, I will try to spend as little time possible refuting claims of widespread fraud, as I believe it detracts from the real problem of voter suppression which was evident in this election. 

First, the Trump campaign has filed a slew of suits in many battleground states, ranging from Georgia to Wisconsin, where in all but one they have lost. Secondly, officials of both parties in all fifty states have refuted any substantial impropriety in the election. Finally, the Department of Homeland security has issued a statement saying, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,”(citation). To this point no substantial amount of voter fraud can be found, which would in any serious manner alter the results of the election. However, a series of instances illustrating acts of voter suppression can be found, which undermine the very nature of a democratic system. For example, in Texas, ballot drop-off boxes were limited to one per county, which in Harris County meant that 4.7 million people had only one location to go to (Forbes). In contrast, King County in Washington state, which has a population of 2.3 million people, had seventy-three ballot drop-off boxes. This illustrates two polar opposites in a country which deems itself to be an example for free and fair elections. This is only  one example; however, more instances can be found. As such, I implore every person reading this to do their own research on the topic, as it is imperative that we, as a nation, do some soul searching, and work to make the voting system accessible to all, so every voice can be heard.