Red, white and youth: 2020 Presidential Election attracts conversation among young voters


Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

On the television screen, CNN anchors discuss the continuation of counting votes and possible outcomes. The 2020 Presidential Election commenced on Nov. 3 and continues today as ballots are still being counted in states such as Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

By Thea Leimone, Features Editor

As ballots from in-person voting, mail-in voting and ballot boxes are still being counted across the nation, Archer community prepares for what history teacher Kathleen Niles called a “dishearteningly abnormal” election. Democratic nominee Joe Biden spent Nov. 3 election day visiting his hometown in Scranton, PA, while Republican nominee and current President, Donald Trump traveled to the Republican Party Office in Arlington, VA.

Back in Los Angeles, Archer students and teachers have been staying informed on election results and updates through news outlets and social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

“Twitter is a huge source of news for me and that’s mainly because it’s the fastest so I can check that within the hour and  see what’s happened in the past 5 minutes,” When We All Vote Ambassador Addi Lee (’21) said.

As the public prepares for the election results, local business and stores have started to board up their windows and doors in anticipation of public outcry or rioting.

“People and companies are currently boarding up their businesses as if they’re preparing for a riot, they’re preparing for the anger that’s going to come out of this election,” junior Chidimma Nwafor said. “It’s kind of a big sign saying ‘okay it’s happening, prepare yourself, stay inside. If your side wins, stay inside.'”

While Nwafor and Lee expect the supporters of the losing party to challenge the election results by protesting, Niles said she “hopes” there is no serious violence or destruction.

“Certainly protest itself can be powerful, but it’s so easy to spin. If the protest is about an election, but the way that the protest happens is to break into a business or something or break a window of a business,” Niles said. “The ultimate point of the protest is kind of lost, right?”

In multiple states there have been various appeals and court decisions regarding the cutoff date for a ballot to be considered valid. These recent developments have raised concerns about the validity of the final voter count and winner.

“There’s no way of knowing when these ballots are going to be completely counted, and whether or not someone will call for a recount. Or if will it be deemed a ‘fair election,'” Nwafor said.

Some states surpassed their total 2016 voter turnout prior to election day with mail-in, and early voting. Young voters are counted as the largest voting bloc in the country, and record voting turnout is expected for this election.

“It’s encouraging and disheartening at the same time. It’s encouraging because the number of young voters and early voting is pretty insane,” Lee said. “It’s also encouraging the conversation about the electoral college and just the increase in voting.”

This election has raised concerns over voter suppression, the necessity of the electoral college and the potential threat of an uprising from members of both political parties. Niles said she felt that these kinds of issues are why democracy requires work and effort from the people.

“Democracy is something that requires attention. It requires work, and it requires love,” Niles said. “In some ways, I think your generation is going to get that much better than people my age.

Voting counting still continues in many states with Biden currently winning the popular vote. The Electoral College map is standing at 248 to Biden and 214 for Trump. You can track live election results from The Associated Press here.