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Some Election Results May Take A While

Voting was steady at Pasadena City College Election Day. | Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

By Terry Miller

While we endeavor to bring you all local and national election results, Beacon Media is committed to accuracy with our reporting. So often in hotly contested elections, like this year, people are quick to rush to judgment and subsequently inaccurate and misleading results can be just that.

“Instead of election night in November 2020, we may have to prepare for election week, or even election month. That’s because it is likely that we will not know the results of the 2020 election on election night in November—there will be more absentee ballots than ever before and it will take longer to count them,” according to a Brookings Institute report.

“By March 23, nine states were under quarantine orders, and by March 30 thirty states were under quarantine orders. The average number of absentee ballots cast jumps from an average of 13% before March 17—the date of two big primary contests, one in Illinois and one in Florida—to 51% in the months afterwards,” according to Brookings.

“As soon as the pandemic made it clear that voting would look very different this year, experts and media-watchers urged news outlets, and the TV networks in particular, to begin managing their audiences’ expectations—by communicating consistently that results may take a while to come in this year, and that that’s okay, not evidence of a problem,” this according to a story from Columbia Journalism Review.

Locally, voters took to the polls at Pasadena City College on Election Day. Poll workers expressed no concerns and said that the process was going like clockwork with a steady stream of people casting their ballots in Pasadena.

Additionally, to ease the pain of election anxiety, four classically trained musicians played outside the voting center to the delight of those who just voted. Play for the Vote (PFTV) performers include those who regularly perform and collaborate with other musicians who are “­­­­inspired to help the democratic process in a tangible way,” according to their website.

Voters at Pasadena City College were treated to an informal concert by musicians who collaborate with an organization known as Play for the Vote. | Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

In California, as of Wednesday morning, Prop. 17 (which restores voting rights after a prison term), Prop. 22 (the app-based drivers as contractors and labor policies initiative), and Prop. 24 (the consumer personal information law and agency initiative) were approved by voters. California voters have rejected Prop. 16 (allowing race-based affirmative action to return), Prop. 20 (the criminal sentencing, parole, and DNA collection initiative), Prop. 21 (the local rent control initiative), Prop. 23 (the dialysis clinic requirements initiative) and Prop. 25 (replacing cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial).

Further complicating presidential election results, on Wednesday, Trump baselessly criticized the counting of mail-in ballots, offering no evidence that opponents were “trying to disenfranchise” voters, and prematurely declared victory. As numerous states continued to count ballots, the president tweeted: “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!”

However, this shift was forewarned by election experts for weeks leading up to the election. “For weeks, outside observers warned that there might be a ‘red mirage’ that emerged on Election Day, wide margins of support for Trump that were based on quick tallies of votes from those who voted in person that day. Over and over, polling and recorded votes indicated that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would have an advantage among those voting early and by mail and that Trump would do better among in-person voters Nov. 3. Over and over, it was pointed out that the slower counting of those absentee votes would mean that the results in states would move to the left as the hours passed, the so-called ‘blue shift,’” explains Philip Bump in the Washington Post.

Despite offering no evidence of voting irregularities, the Trump campaign announced Wednesday morning that it would request a recount in Wisconsin. The announcement was then followed by the campaign filing a lawsuit asking Michigan to stop counting ballots.

On Jan. 6, Congress convenes to count the electoral votes and certify the winner of the election.

November 4, 2020

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Terry Miller


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