When Count Every Vote meets Stop The Steal

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Mon Nov 09, 2020

During the week of waiting for the presidential election result, the Democrat and Republican voters were not patient to sit at their place and wait, especially with it being a very tight game. With different beliefs and political agendas, the two main slogans - “Count Every Vote” by the Democratic Party and “Stop The Steal” by the Republican Party - and some bi-partisan Tweet responses emerged that I am interested in exploring more.

The agenda of “Count Every Vote” versus “Stop The Steal” obviously discusses the validity of ballots and what ballots should be counted. The Biden campaign set the tone of the importance of every vote, projecting an ideal that the Democrats believe counting every ballot accounts for a wholesome democracy and every voice should be heard. At the later vote counting stage when the margins of vote counts in some key states are very small, Trump and his team staged legal action in several states to try to stop the vote counting process. The Republicans, following Trump’s claims, argued that the processing of absentee ballots is problematic, like some late ballots were accepted, and they question that most of the mail-in ballots support the Democrat candidates, which is actually usual. 

To count or not to count, the parties might take different approaches based on their advantages of having more votes to be counted. Imagine if the mail-in ballots are not mainly sent from Democrat voters. Will the Democratic Party use the agenda of “Count Every Vote”? Maybe, or maybe not. But at this moment, the Democratic Party is advancing its lead through counting absentee ballots, so from a party perspective, they would for sure support counting every ballot. And imagine if the mail-in ballots mainly support the Republican candidates, will the Republican Party try its best to halt the vote counting? Maybe, or maybe not. But at this moment, they are losing their advantages from more counted ballots, so it is easy to imagine why they want to stop the counting. And if there are indeed flaws and dirty works in the vote collection and processing workflow by one party, will that party be open for investigation? Probably not. The party at fault will be worried about being challenged.

I am not trying to play with conspiracy theories; but given my belief that there is always dirty work in politics, I will not eliminate the possibility of any party using spin to manipulate supporters’ sentiment. From my point of view, the argument of “Count Every Vote” looks more legitimate, and if the Democratic Party accepts an open challenge of recounting and reverifying the votes received before the deadline under law, showing the counted ballots as legitimate votes, the Republican Party’s claims will be cleared off. On the other hand, if the Republican Party can show real proof of their claims, they will then hold strong evidence to challenge the election result. 

People’s retweets and comments on the accounts of Joe Biden, as another example of divided and bipartisan politics, show some interesting phenomena of standing up for their party or political belief. “I love seeing Trump supporters CRY, it's my daily medicine, my weekly energy, my monthly inspiration and my yearly motivation. Their loss is the only reason I'm still alive, I was born to love and enjoy the failure that they have achieved.” and “I AM DONE WITH THIS COUNTRY. I shall be leaving the USA shortly with my wife in disgust at this situation. Mexico is a much more welcome place. I’d rather be in a stable country like theirs as opposed to one run by Biden. My kids are scared of him!!!” are the two sets of text virally appeared across Biden’s recent tweets. Despite the possibility of commenting through fake accounts, it shows an extreme division of the supporters between the two parties, and neither of the words represent a mature and healthy belief to reunite a country. 

Concerning these two examples of divided voters’ sentiment, a divided country appears to be one of the biggest challenges to the incoming Biden administration to mediate the deadlock of bi-partisan politics in the United States.

 

 

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2020 - Fall - Issue 9
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