November 4, 2020
Just as predicted by many state officials, the vote was not decided on November 3rd. What was not predicted was the crazy nature of the count. Some voters heeded the warning of gathering in tight crowds and decided to mail in votes or vote early. Others instead chose to brave the crowds and voted in person on the 3rd. This creates confusion as states counted votes in a variety of ways. Some started counting the early votes as they came in (although not releasing the numbers until yesterday) which resulted in early leads that began to dwindle as in-person voting numbers arrived. Others took a different approach and even choose to not start counting until this morning. This made early predictions impossible for nine states.
When I asked Melissa what to have for dinner last night, she said she would like Hors d’oeuvres. This is our tradition for Super Bowl night. Rather than having an entrée, we make a variety of side dishes and appetizers. We then lay these out on either the kitchen peninsula or on the coffee table in the living room. Last night we choose the living room so we could watch the election returns. This also lets us “graze” throughout the night rather than having a specific mealtime. As the night wore on, we either finished dishes or put them in the refrigerator. Just like the count, it must end sometime.
One thing is clear. The voting is over. It ended as the last poll closed on the 3rd. What is not clear is when the votes already cast will be counted. It is not the case that more votes will be miraculously found to swing the election one way or the other. The difficulty comes as the various states apply different laws to govern what counts. Some provide that ballots need to be in the election office by poll closing while others specify, they need to be postmarked by election day and delivered by Friday. Normally this would not create a problem. This year is different due to the large number of absentee ballots sent to registered voters. Every vote counts.
Thoughts: Regardless of who wins, the fact remains the pollsters got it wrong for the second presidential election in a row. Four years ago, Clinton held a strong five-point lead according to the polls. While she won the popular vote by around 3,000,000 votes, she lost the election. This year the pollsters showed a stronger ten-point lead. While Biden is leading by several million popular votes, the election is too close to call. The purpose for the electoral College was because the Founders of our country did not trust the common person to make such an important decision. We tell people their vote counts. Maybe it really should. Do the work. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.