THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Record numbers of voters are turning out for the 2020 presidential election as the vote count wraps up in some states. There have been roughly 144 million ballots counted nationwide with an estimated 17 million remaining as of 12 PM EST.
Ohio is still counting ballots, yet the state has already broken its all-time voter turnout record with 5,812,804 votes counted as of Wednesday night. This total surpassed their previous record of 5.77 million votes in 2008. Colorado also saw an unprecedented voter participation rate, with 3,303,265 ballots cast accounting for an 87% voter turnout rate as of Wednesday night. Unaffiliated voters accounted for the largest share of votes with 1,246,120, around 39% of the total electorate in the state.
Texas did not turn blue, yet it did produce its highest voter turnout since 1992 with 66% of the registered population casting ballots in 2020. Minnesota and Tennessee are expected to break all-time turnout records, while Kentucky only slightly surpassed 2016 turnout and will not match ballots cast in 2008.
The Latino vote has been a deciding factor in several key states. With a spike in ballots cast from the Latino population, many political strategists are surprised by Biden’s slip and Trump’s gain in Latino support, despite Biden carrying a majority of the overall Latino vote. League of United Latin American Citizens president Domingo Garcia argued that Democrats missed opportunities to persuade Latino voters, noting that Biden received 250,000 fewer votes in Miami-Dade County than Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did in 2016.
Journalist María Elena Salinas noted that Latinos helped Trump win Florida, yet they also helped Biden win Arizona. Salinas pointed to diversity within the Latin American community as a key factor in the split support between candidates. The surge in Latino influence in the 2020 election has sparked a conversation around the monolithic nature in which the widely diverse group has been considered in regard to voting.
The 2020 Election Likely Had the Highest Voter Turnout in Modern History – Town & Country – 11/4/2020
While more people have voted than at any other time in American history, percentage-wise, this number does not quite break records. Given that around 239.2 million Americans were eligible to vote in 2020, the projected number of voters brings us to a 66.8% turnout rate. This makes 2020 the year with the highest voter turnout since 1900, when Republican William McKinley won reelection with 73.7% turnout.
Young Voters Are Just Getting Started – Teen Vogue – 11/4/2020
For four years — and longer, really — young people have been at the center of some of the organizing that will define this era. They have led sustained protests against ongoing racial injustice and police brutality, climate injustice, and gun violence; they have organized in their local communities, volunteered for candidates, and in some cases, run for office themselves.
Americans broke a 120-year-old turnout record — and are more divided than ever – Los Angeles Times – 11/4/2020
“We broke a 120-year record on turnout — the kind of turnout people only dreamed of” in past elections, said political scientist Julia Azari of Marquette University in Milwaukee. But that massive turnout did not clearly establish one party as the dominant force in American politics. By some measures, “it didn’t change much,” she said.
Some Latinos Voted for Trump. Get Over It. – New York Times – 11/5/2020
The reason the “Latino vote” befuddles is because it doesn’t exist, nor do “Latino issues.” If we want to understand how Latinos vote, we should start by retiring the word “Latino” entirely — and maybe “Hispanic,” too, a term first used by the United States government in the 1970 census that is based solely on the language native to the European settlers who conquered the Americas. These labels have served only to reduce us to a two-dimensional caricature: poor brown immigrants who always vote Democrat.
Trump’s gains with Hispanic voters should prompt some progressive rethinking – Vox – 11/5/2020
For the past several years, the term “Latinx” has been gaining momentum in progressive circles, even though only 3 percent of US Hispanics actually use it themselves. The word originates in academic and activist circles, having been coined in 2004 and only gaining popularity about 10 years later. The term is meant to solve two problems. One is that the Spanish language uses the masculine term “Latino” to refer not just to men but also to mixed-gender groups, implying a kind of problematic privileging of the male gender. The other is that the binary nature of grammatical gender — Latino men and Latina women — is a poor fit for the needs and lives of nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people.
The History Behind 2020’s Record Voter Turnout Numbers – Time – 11/5/2020
The above-average voter turnout rate in 2020 is noteworthy as the U.S. usually has some of the worst turnout rates in the world: In a Pew Research ranking of voter turnout in the most recent nationwide elections, the U.S. placed 30th out of 35 nations. But it wasn’t always the case that a solid chunk of the American electorate sat out the opportunity to vote.