The United States of America is known for being a democracy valuing equality and fairness, however is the 2020 Presidential election really measuring up to those values? Although any presidential election in the middle of a pandemic would appear to be a challenging task, the option for mail-in voting seemed to ease concerns that some American citizens had going into the election. During the 2020 election, voter turnout has been the highest it has ever been with a recorded 74.6%. However, along with the increase in voter turnout, the option for absentee ballots led to a chain of interesting events that leave some of the American people with doubts about the integrity of the voting process, including concerns from the President. Recently following election day on November third, President Donald J. Trump began filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan, as well as Georgia due to lack of transparency in the voting process as well as concerns regarding absentee ballot voting.
There has been a recorded sharp rise in mail-in ballots during the 2020 Presidential race more so than previous election years. Many assume this is due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, which made the option of absentee ballots appealing to more citizens. However, along with the rise in absentee ballots and the increased amount of time the ballots will take to process and count, there has also been an equal amount of rise in concerns from citizens regarding the integrity of the voting process. Initial concerns arose in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when a representative of the Trump campaign was prevented from seeing the inscriptions on mail-in ballots that were being opened and processed. In addition to Pennsylvania, there was similar concerns about the integrity of the ballot-counting process in the state of Michigan when well-known Democrat and Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, allegedly approved the counting of absentee ballots without the observation of bipartisan observers and challengers. Likewise, President Trump filed a lawsuit in the state of Georgia when an observer allegedly witnessed a poll worker place a pile of uncounted mail-in ballots into another room that contained processed ballots. President Trump proceeded to file a lawsuit against the states of Pennsylvania and Michigan, which argues for more access in the counting of absentee ballots process by permitting review of ballots that have already been opened and processed.
Although the United States of America prides itself on every citizen having the privilege to have a say in deciding the next president, the 2020 Presidential election seems to spark controversy and doubts as to whether every citizen’s vote is actually being taken into consideration. Similarly, the United States promotes the value of fairness. Given the increased number of absentee ballots during the 2020 Presidential Election, the court’s allowance for increased observation in the voting process will not only promote the value of fairness that America possesses, but also protect the right to a fair election. Only by allowing more access to observers and careful review of already processed ballots will America truly have “liberty and justice” not just for some, but for all.
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