Who Votes? Part I

By Kimberly Perette

If you don’t vote, don’t talk to me about the state of the union. You’ve forfeited your voice.

Here are some facts.

According to USA today on 10/30/20, 85 million people have already voted. There are more than 257 million people in the U.S. that are 18 or older and 240 million people who are eligible to vote this year. Eligible voters include people living over seas. It does not non-citizens or people convicted of a felony, depending on the state law.

Early voting broke records and was led by Democrats. Democratic voters had returned 10 million of the 19.1 million ballots that were mailed in as of 10/21/20. This represented 52% of the total of people who had voted by mail. Republican voters returned 5 million mailed in ballots, which represented 25.2% of the total of ballots that had been mailed in. People with no party affiliation had mailed in 4.1 million ballots, which represented 21% of total mailed in ballots. That means that 66 million people voted early in person at designated polling areas.

In any case this year’s voter turnout could reach the highest it’s been since 1908, which is a very great thing. This number has consistently increased, thank goodness. Take for instance, in 1996, Bill Clinton v Bob Dole, only 51.7% voter turnout, compared to 2008, Barak Obama v John McCain, 61.65% turnout. Donald Trump v Hilary Clinton, 60.1% voter turnout. Alas, but voter turnout doesn’t matter so much as long as we have the electoral college in place which for the life of me I don’t understand why we still have this antiquated way of thinking and system in place. More in Part 2 of Who Votes. The Electoral College.

My sense is that someone, I’m thinking President Trump, because he has spoken openly about fraud due to mail in ballots, is going to cry wolf on the results of this system which has been in place since pretty much the inception of this country. First in 1775 during the American Revolution and then picking up speed during the Civil War because many of the men who were eligible to vote were away from home fighting. The reason mail in ballots are so successful this year is because of COVID-19. 

Though, I don’t wish harm to anybody, this pandemic has caused us to rethink some of our archaic ideas and cut some of the fat off of lethargic systems. This pandemic might be just what we need to rethink on how to save the planet and ourselves. I hope some of the policies that we have in place, like working from home and becoming more involved in the electoral process by mailing in ballots or voting early, will stick in our society from now on.

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