From KNEA President, Mark Farr
The 2020 election has now taken place, but the results are unknown because millions of ballots, including mail-in votes, have not been counted. Any candidate can make claims and say whatever they want, but we know- as we’ve seen in Kansas- that mail-in voting throughout the United States is secure, safe, and ensures that all eligible voters get a vote.
What we do know at this time is that, with every passing hour, Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s lead is increasing. As we count historic numbers of mail-in ballots, Biden is on track to flip multiple states carried by President Trump in 2016: AZ, WI, MI are in process, and PA still has 1.4 million mail-in ballots outstanding; which early indications have Biden winning overwhelmingly. At this point, more Americans have voted for Joe Biden than any candidate in US history — and his total vote lead is on pace to grow to over 6 million votes by the end of the week. When all is said and done, it appears that Joe Biden will be our next President.
The two candidates took two very different approaches on the campaign trail when encouraging supporters to turn out and vote. Joe Biden urged voters to use mail-in ballots to promote safety during the pandemic. Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to vote in-person on election day. So, it is not unexpected that some states will continue to count ballots in the coming days, and election officials in those states are fully prepared to do so safely and securely.
Our democracy’s strength is that every eligible voter has a voice because we count every vote cast. One thing that unites us all today is that Americans voted and, in doing so, chose to stand up for democracy, despite the pandemic and deliberate barriers from day-long lines to eliminated drop boxes.
Local elections officials have done an excellent job throughout our country and expected historic turnout both in-person and by mail. It was also expected- based upon party voter habits- that many battleground states would lean Trump on election night but shift to Biden once all votes are counted. That shift to Biden in those battleground states is precisely what is occurring.
Throughout the history of this nation, successful elections have happened even during the worst of times. There was a presidential election during the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. And while it was not a presidential election, there was a successful election for Congress and state leaders during the 1918 flu pandemic. And each time, there was a peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. We expect no less in 2020.
In America, every vote counts, and when every vote is finally counted, we will know whether the people have chosen a new path or confirmed the current one. At that time, we expect that both candidates will respect the will of the American people as we set aside our divisions so that the winning candidate can move our nation forward in service to all Americans.