America’s decision: the outcome of the election and its consequences


John Ciaccio

Senior Harris Ciaccio checks the current projected standings of the 2020 presidential election.

Jonathan Sulgrove, Opinion Editor

America chose its next president and congressional leaders on Nov. 3 and the weeks prior via mail-in and absentee ballots. Now, it is time to see what will happen next.

Most media sources have called the election in favor of Democratic nominee Joe Biden. However, this is not official, as ongoing lawsuits in a few states may change who the winner will be.

These lawsuits, mostly filed by Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his campaign, center around two major issues: deadlines and voter fraud. Whether these lawsuits will actually impact the results is only speculation, but they do highlight issues many voters want clarified.

First, many voters want to know whether mail-in ballots should be legal. There is a lot of concern these are contributing to voter fraud. This issue is one voters want addressed by Congress or state legislatures in the near future.

Second, many voters want to know how the nation will combat voter fraud in the future. There has been talk of using watermarks on ballots to root out illegitimate ballots. Although that did not happen this year as some conspiracy theorists claimed, many consider it to be a valid idea in curbing illegal votes.

Third, many voters want to know whether there should be an established deadline when all ballots must be received. Multiple swing states extended their deadlines for counting absentee ballots as long as they were postmarked by election day. These rule changes are one of the reasons why states have not finalized their votes – they are still counting and recounting.

Furthermore, there was a report of a Michigan post office falsely postmarking late ballots. If this were true, it would not have mattered, as Michigan requires for all votes to be received by election day. However, it would still be a case of voter fraud and if this occurred in a different state, it could have drastically impacted the election results.

Finally, many voters want to know whether there should be an established deadline when all ballots must be counted. Several states, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, did not begin counting mail-in and absentee ballots until election day, leading to a longer wait for results.

These questions are on many voters’ minds as they anticipate the official results.

Senior Harris Ciaccio believes in the necessity of an uncorrupt voting system. “If there is significant voter fraud, then it should be looked into in order to ensure a fair election and maintain the integrity of American democracy,” he said. “The most important thing is that everyone’s vote is counted.”

Surprising to many is the fact that the peaceful and non-peaceful protests that have recently taken the forefront of America’s attention are now on the sidelines. As satirical site The Babylon Bee joked, the nation – including rioters – is holding its breath as votes are counted.

After the next president is officially elected by the Electoral College on Dec. 14, one can only guess what will happen next.

Ciaccio is concerned either way the election turns out. “I worry that no matter who ends up being the next president of the United States, there will be a good amount of people out there who won’t accept the outcome,” he said.

Senior Christina Li focused more on candidate specifics. “My biggest concerns were the racial tensions, pandemic policies and overall agendas of the candidates,” she explained. There’s no telling what could happen for [people of color] if Trump furthered his xenophobic and racist rhetoric. It’s not to say Biden doesn’t have his own problematic behavior, but the Trump administration happens to be much scarier.”

No matter how America’s citizens voted, the world will still go on. Based on election results, many like Ciaccio predict rough times ahead and others like Li predict a better four years. There is only one more thing to do: prepare for what is next.