The Tea With Bailey: Can Americans Trust the Election System?

On Nov. 3, Americans waited anxiously throughout the day and into the wee hours of the night to hear who had won the place in the White House. In what has been dubbed the most important election of America’s short life, the fight to the Oval Office hit a record number of votes through mail-in, absentee and in-person ballots. According to Bloomberg, over 161 million Americans voted in this election.

As the election numbers began tallying, it quickly became clear that the race was going to end up being much tighter then either side was hoping for. Soon, we all realized that we were not going to find out who the next president was on Election Day, but that it was going to take days or even weeks to declare a winner.

States such as Nevada and Alaska have taken massive amounts of time to count their ballots, oftentimes announcing breaks before they would resume counting. Additionally, many states claimed they would allow ballots arriving as late as Nov. 10 to count in the election, despite giving voters weeks before to cast an early vote. 

While some states are being way too slow, others were called suspiciously quickly. This is true in the western states of California, Oregon and Washington, who were called for Biden only 8 minutes after their polling places closed. 

Arizona was called much too early for Biden in my opinion, as it is usually a red state. The state was called by media outlets instead of actual votes or the electoral college. While it is possible for states to flip, the counting process should be finished before it is called for one candidate over the other. 

Not only are Americans having to deal with the stressors of states being too close to call and the prediction that we may not know anything concrete for weeks, but claims of voting fraud are beginning to be heard in multiple battleground states such as Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan, with the possibility of votes being challenged in other states as well.

The results of the 2020 presidential election were highly contentious and left many Americans doubting the integrity of the voting system.

Instagram videos and Newsweek reports bags of ballots being found discarded and others say they were only allowed to use Sharpies to cast their votes instead of the black and blue pens that are able to be accurately read in the ballot machines. It is still unclear whether or not Sharpies work in ballot machines.

President Trump has announced that his campaign is suing certain states for their slow counting and for potential fraud. I personally applaud this decision because I hope this process will reveal if there were any cases of fraud that could have detrimentally affected the election. I can deal with the election results as long as I know the winner did not achieve the presidency through shady and backdoor means.

Election Day is called Election Day for a reason. It’s not called election days and it’s certainly not called election weeks. The slow pace that these votes are being tallied is ridiculous and the reports of fraud are frustrating.

Americans deserve to know on Nov. 3 who their next president will be. Dragging out the race by slow counting is not right and it is not fair to the American people. 

Americans should have the confidence in their country and in their voting process to know whoever is winning the presidency is winning in a fair and honest way; they should not have to worry about fraud being committed and they should not have to wait weeks to know who is going to be the next president of the free world.

Americans should be able to trust their election system to be fair and honest. If there are doubts about the integrity of an election, investigations should be done without pushback from government officials. Americans deserve to know their elections are fair.

Bailey Duran is the Opinion Editor. Follow her on Twitter at @duran_bailey.

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