Presidential Election 2020 Recap: Trump vs Biden

The 2020 presidential election created one party’s fears and another party’s celebration. Putting political opinions aside, however, the election consisted of many historical firsts, including a record-breaking voter turnout despite the global pandemic. 

Rachel Gauer and Alyssa Carlson

This year, the presidential election attracted approximately 160 million voters to the polls. (Photo by Rachel Gauer)

The 2020 presidential election created one party’s fears and another party’s celebration. Putting political opinions aside, however, the election consisted of many historical firsts, including a record-breaking voter turnout despite the global pandemic. 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the first woman and person of Black and Native American descent to be Vice President. President-elect Joe Biden, at the time of his planned inauguration on January 20, 2021, will be the oldest president sworn into office at 78 years old. 

Additionally, the voter turnout was record-breaking: upwards of 65% of American citizens eligible to vote casted their ballots and the number of voters in this election’s battleground states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, etc. was especially high. 

Senior Kaia Stites comments on this historical voter outcome: 

“We had a record setting voter turnout and this election shows how every vote matters. I hope we continue to get this high of a voter turnout. I think no matter who you support that is a win for everyone,” said Stites 

Another unusual outcome of this election was President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede after his loss. He has concluded that voter fraud is apparent in the results, especially with mail-in absentee ballots and is continuing his efforts to get recounts in particular states and has employed lawsuits. It is unclear how these efforts will affect the ultimate outcome of the election come Jan. 20. 

Senior Bronson Lasley gives his opinion on these voter fraud claims. 

“The election could have been executed in a totally different way to ensure it was fair and that voter fraud was eliminated. In this past election, both sides said there was a problem with voter fraud. This should be frightening to the people of the United States,” said Lasley.

Alternatively, Stites warns of the severity of these claims and critiques the Republicans’ reaction. 

“I did not like how some Republicans handled [the results] because they started claiming voter fraud even though they had no evidence. Voter fraud is extremely serious and should not be thrown around like it has been. They need to accept the loss. Being upset is totally understandable and acceptable but throwing around cheating allegations just because you lost is not,” said Stites. 

The reactions of both the Democratic side and the Republican side have been critiqued by many following this election. Some criticize the celebratory, victorious attitude of the Democrats, while others condemn the Republicans’ failure to accept the results, especially President Trump’s. 

Junior Risa Tinsley-Green, who is the president of our school’s law and justice club, comments on the democratic reaction to the results.  

“I know a lot of people are celebrating right now which is great but I also don’t want people to forget about politics just because the election is over. Because there are still important senate seats that are going to be elected in January, it’s especially important that people don’t stop paying attention to politics,” said Tinsley-Green. 

Additionally, Bronson Lasley critiques aspects of both Biden’s response and Trump’s response. 

“Joe Biden and the Democratic Party announced that they had won the election and made a false title to make the media believe that he had won already, but that was just not the case. There had been no results released yet. On the other side of the scale President Trump wanted a recount of votes in several states early in the day of the election,” said Lasley. 

Nevertheless, this election has been a topic of interest for many throughout the country and even the world. A CNN video documents a group of individuals celebrating Biden’s win in Ireland and several locations in U.S. metropolitan areas like New York, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia. The leaders of several foreign countries have released congratulatory statements to Biden and Harris, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Emmanual Macron of France. 

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, the record-breaking voter turnout, President Trump’s voter fraud claims, as well as the many “firsts” that are soon to enter the White House have made this an election worth noting.