National IssuesOpinion

Opinion: Election night turned into days of misinformation

Photo by Element5 Digital

As many experts had foreseen, Election Day of 2020 turned into multiple Election Days. The longer the wait, the less likely it seemed that we would get a conclusive result on who would be the 46th president of the United States within the week. Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania were watched closely as numbers remained stagnant, and slowly began to increase as Joe Biden’s small lead grew. 

When I checked my phone Saturday morning, I breathed a sigh of relief and felt a weight lift off my shoulders. Joe Biden will be the next president, and Donald Trump will finally leave office come January. We will no longer have a racist, misogynistic, LGBT-phobic president leading our country.

However, the closeness of the results still bother me. Trump, who is endorsed by the Taliban, supported by former KKK leader David Duke, who refused to denounce white supremacy and who told the Proud Boys to “stand by”, should not receive as many votes as he did. Almost half of Americans voted for a candidate supported by hate groups.

Not surprisingly, as the election results came in, Trump made a number of false claims about the legitimacy of voting and the election. 

We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” Trump tweeted on election day, soon to be flagged by Twitter, so users saw a message stating, “some or all of the content shared in this tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” 

Twitter continued to flag many of Trump’s tweets throughout the night and following election day, which were full of false information, though his supporters did not seem to care. 

[Photo of a voter dropping a ballot into a ballot box]
Photo by Element5 Digital | Pexels

On Nov. 4, Trump tweeted “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run and 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!” 

This tweet was also flagged, but it left a sour taste in my mouth. It made it seem like Trump had no concept of how voting or the election worked; there were no “surprise ballot dumps,” but rather poll-workers just continued to count votes. 

Spreading this type of misinformation will lead to people doubting the results of every election thereafter, even though the results of this election were determined by counting all of the votes. 

There was no corruption or fraud, though as Biden took the lead, Trump seemed to believe otherwise, acting as if Democrats had somehow rigged the election to make it look as if Trump would win, then suddenly millions of Biden votes appeared out of nowhere and led to Biden’s win. 

Trump also made a number of claims about illegal votes that had been sent in, saying that “ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!” Despite that claim, the Associated Press Fact Check said that ballots received after Tuesday were still legally counted, as many states allow late ballots. 

Now, over a week after the election, Trump still refuses to concede, tweeting and retweeting “WE WILL WIN!” and claiming recounts will prove he won. He continues to make false statements about the election, trying to paint a picture of mass voter fraud. 

WATCH FOR MASSIVE BALLOT COUNTING ABUSE AND, JUST LIKE THE EARLY VACCINE, REMEMBER I TOLD YOU SO!” Trump tweeted on Nov. 10, though no evidence of “massive” fraud exists, and many election officials said the election went well.

That sigh of relief I let out Saturday morning no longer replicates how I feel about the election. Watching Trump react to losing like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum makes me question any bit of intelligence Trump may have. However, knowing that Trump will only be in office for a few more months is relieving, and I hope that soon the polarization in this country will minimize under a new president.

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