We have been united in watching the elections
Whichever way we voted; we have been united these last few days. We have shared several days of anxiety-laden anticipation while the ballots are counted. The presidential race has been declared for Joe Biden as our new President-Elect and his Vice-Presidential running mate, Kamala Harris.
We must be united in the work ahead
Now, all of us must get back to work. There is much to do to bring the nation back together and not be so divided. We must pool our visions, our energies, our intellect, and our resources to be what we’ve promised to be: The United States of America.
President-Elect Joe Biden made a statement shortly after receiving the news of the election being declared in his favor. As Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller wrote in their Associated Press article, Biden wins White House, vowing new direction for divided US:
It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. There’s nothing we can’t do if we do it together.
The elections have exposed our differences
It has been a close campaign race with the nation showing how evenly divided it is. It has, at times, been a rather ugly campaign with nobody emerging totally unscathed by the rancor and vitriol. It can be frightening to watch and disconcerting to think one’s vision of our nation may be slipping away.
It’s difficult to have trust in our government, in its institutions, and its leadership when all of it has been so challenged. The differences of opinions, our national divide, points to the need for a giant national reset. Coming together is not a nice-to-have kind of notion. It’s a necessity. Division is not sustainable.
It’s necessary to recognize that ours is a democracy, which means everyone’s opinion should be heard. Some opinions, of course, will emerge as ones that fulfill our visions, others will be noted to encourage needed change, and others will need to be modified to be effective. Democracy is in itself a movement, an ever-changing flow of our existence that builds on the positives and minimizes our societal harms. It’s work. It’s a labor that many have fought for, died for, and dreamed of when success became obscure.
None of us can sustain this nation nor build upon its history alone. As you’ve heard said so many times this year, laced with COVID concerns, “We’re in this together!” We need each other to truly be these United States.
Voting highlights the process
Congratulations are in order. Congratulations to the political winners, certainly. Congratulations should also be given to those who ran good races, who elevated causes and their rhetoric in their endeavor to improve us. The races were contentious, but the competitions point to the desires to improve our lot, to have our voices heard. Though losers may be considered among the minority, they help define who we are, what we envision for our future, and the process we use.
Process matters. As we watched the election play out, we could quickly recognize that this was to be a close election. Those predictions did not disappoint. It was fitting that great care went into the process of ballot collecting, tabulating, and parsing out winners and losers. It took time – a painful lot of time! Diligence and accuracy and transparency proved their value. The voice of the people was heard!
The election silenced too many voters
The election brought in more ballots than ever before. This was due to heavy campaigning, extended voting times, greater reliance upon mail-in voting, and a contagion of patriotism. Every voter wanted to participate and be counted.
It is sad to report, then, that our presidential election process failed us, just as it always does. While we have had some 150 million ballots cast (the counting is still not complete as of this writing), around 70 million of those ballots will not be represented in the Electoral College. Such vote suppression happens in every presidential election. It is not due to any kind of nefarious process, not fraud, nor because of mistakes. It simply is a fact that the Winner-Takes-All (WTA) approach removes ballots not cast for the candidate deemed to be the winner from a state’s polling results.
Equal Voice Voting (EVV) removes WTA and acknowledges every ballot cast, making sure that All Votes Matter. The 2020 election, had EVV been used across the nation, would have provided the same result as what we realized: Biden would win the election. Instead of witnessing the blue and red electoral map we’ve all become familiar with, the states would have been colored different shades of purple to reflect the voting voice of all voters. The voting results would have been more thorough, more granular, and more exact. All Votes Matter!
All political parties must be united to build our future
Now we must stand united: Democrats, Republicans, and other political parties.
Democrats can help by quelling their instincts to gloat over their victory, being sensitive to the sting of losing an election now experienced by Republicans.
Republicans can help by calming the rancor and sharing in a rhetoric that follows the lead set by President-elect Biden:
Our future depends on We the People of these United States.
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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team