2020 has been a year of surprises. Among the twists and turns, one very positive outcome has emerged. U.S. Citizens have been registering to vote in droves. As our country has prepared for the Presidential election, unprecedented numbers of people have dedicated their time to making sure their voices will be heard.
Registration during a Pandemic
Early on in the year, voter registration numbers plummeted. With the country-wide shutdown, various government agencies, including DMV’s, were forced to suspend their services for a time. Although it was only a matter of weeks, these closures had a ripple effect in terms of slowing down voter registration numbers. While the first half of the year yielded a dip, the second half of the year told a completely different story. As the 2020 election drew closer, the number of people who registered to vote exceeded all expectations.
Analyzing the Numbers
Just how impressive was the recent drive for registering to vote? Kevin Shaul, Kate Rabinowitz and Ted Mellnik wrote an article for washingtonpost.com that states, “The latest figures, based on 2020 votes counted and additional known early votes, stand only a few percentage points away from breaking a 60-year-old record set in 1960. So far, records from 1980 have already been broken in 31 states. Turnout was especially high in many battleground states, where expectations of a close contest appeared to boost voter participation.” It’s encouraging to know that with a lot at stake for both parties, people showed up to make their voices heard. Voting is an incredible privilege that is often taken for granted by many Americans. Exercising your right to vote is an important part of the Democratic process. It’s also your duty as a citizen and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
We still don’t know exactly how many people actually voted in the 2020 Presidential election. Current numbers estimate that there are about 160 million votes. The Trump campaign has filed a number of lawsuits to assess the possibility of voter fraud. That being said, we likely wont know the exact number until the legal disputes are settled. The above mentioned article also states, “The projection for where this turnout could end up is based on estimates of how many votes are still to be counted, from The Post’s own modeling and that of Edison Research. If this projection holds, 2020 turnout will be the highest since 1900, when 73.7 percent of eligible Americans cast ballots.” Given how drastically the U.S population has grown since 1900, it’s incredibly impressive to think that so many people showed up to vote in this election. Despite the chaos that 2020 has brought into so many lives, there have been a couple good things to come out of it. Increased voter registration and people taking their civic duty more seriously are definitely some of the positives.