Given the significance of this election, and the current state of the pandemic, the results of the 2020 presidential election may not be announced any time soon. We have to remain patient, because something of this importance requires time and effort.
Predictions have been thrown around, but these predictions could be skewed because of the increased number of mail-in ballots this year. Millions of people cast their votes prior to Election Day, and 10 states mailed ballots to every registered voter, according to the Washington Post. Some states are allowing ballots that are postmarked on or before Nov. 3 to be counted. Illinois is accepting ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 until Nov. 17 according to The New York Times, but Missouri is not accepting ballots after Nov. 3. Since ballots are accepted until mid-November, we could be waiting weeks for the official results.
This will not be the first election to release results after Election Day. The election of 1920 was the first election to have the results returned to the country on the same day, and this continued long after. However, the election of 2000 was a close call, so former Vice President Al Gore and former President George W. Bush were both announced winners of the electoral votes in Florida, but both were retracted. The recount delayed the announcement of the official winner of the election until Dec. 12. Although officials don’t foresee the results of the 2020 election taking quite that long, Election Day has many people continuously refreshing Google to see the progress of the votes.
Pushing news organizations to put out results prematurely will lead to the spread of inaccurate information. Retracting news before it spreads is almost impossible, so it’s better to be patient and wait for the final votes to be counted than to broadcast underdeveloped numbers and results.
Politics have been circling social media for months, and the next few weeks will not be any different. It is important to remember that anybody can post anything on the internet, and you should always refer to reliable sources when looking at the results of the election, as they can change daily depending on the state. If it becomes overwhelming, it is OK to limit the time you spend on social media to give yourself a break.
We at The Alestle understand it can be difficult to spend days or likely weeks not knowing who the president will be. This country takes pride in our ability to vote, and it should be exercised in a way that allows all voices to be heard. If it takes a few extra days, the accuracy of the results will be worth it, because the future of our country relies on them.