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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Biden and Trump face off in a long, historic election


Illustration of people voting.

After breaking record numbers in early voting, the 2020 election took place on Tuesday, Nov. 3, with Democratic candidate Joe Biden and incumbent Republican Donald Trump engaging in a tight race for the presidency, counting on several swing states to make the final call.

As of Wednesday night, some news outlets like the Associated Press were reporting that Biden received 264 votes, with Trump acquiring 214. The New York Times reported 253 to 214, while CNN reported 253 to 213, both in Biden’s favor. The Associated Press called Arizona for Biden, a state with 11 electoral votes. CNN and the New York Times have yet to make this report official.

Biden won battleground states Michigan and Wisconsin, along with New Hampshire. Trump won swing states Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas. Others, like Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, are still in the process of counting votes, specifically mail-in ballots.  

Nevada announced that their next update will be Thursday morning after tallying 75 percent of the votes. 

Pennsylvania will most likely be counting votes until Friday, as officials had to wait until Election Day to process mail-in ballots. They are also counting those that arrive up to three days after the election. 

In North Carolina, Trump is in the lead with the 94 percent of expected votes counted, but the state allows ballots arriving before Nov. 12 to be counted. 

Georgia has 99 percent of votes counted, closely favoring Trump, but votes in Fulton County are still being processed. 

More than 101.2 million people voted early in this election. More than 65 million were by mail, and more than 36 million were early in-person.

 Mail-in voting, popularized due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was expected to be used more by Democrats, with Republicans preferring to vote in-person. This is especially true in Pennsylvania, where votes for Biden increased as more mail-in votes were counted. 

In the Senate, Democrats need to win four seats in order to secure a majority, or three if Joe Biden wins the presidency. There were elections for 35 Senate seats. 

Democrats flipped Senate seats in both Colorado and Arizona. John Hickenlooper won against incumbent Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Mark Kelly won against incumbent Martha McSally in Arizona. 

In Alabama, Republicans flipped a seat, as Tommy Tuberville won against incumbent Doug Jones. 

Republican seats in North Carolina and Alaska are too early to call. Georgia has two Senate races at the moment, with two Republican seats in the air. One is headed for a January runoff. 

Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts won re-election again against Republican Kevin O’Connor, with 66.7 percent of the votes.

The House of Representatives will most likely remain controlled by the Democratic Party. The majority needs to occupy 218 seats in the House. As of Thursday evening, Democrats kept 209 seats, flipping two from Republicans. However, despite holding only 193 seats so far, Republicans were able to flip eight seats from Democrats. 

The race to the House of Representatives and state Congress resulted in several milestones for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ representation. 

Sarah McBride (D) of Delaware became the first transgender state senator in the U.S. Ritchie Torres (D) of New York is the first openly gay Afro-Latino member of Congress. Also in New York, Mondaire Jones (D) is one of the first openly gay Black men in Congress. Mauree Turner (D) of Oklahoma is the first non-binary state lawmaker, and the first Muslim to serve in Oklahoma’s state-house. For Republicans, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, age 25, will become the youngest member elected to Congress in modern U.S history.

The House elections in Massachusetts remained blue in all nine districts. Notably, District 7’s Ayanna Pressley, who is one of the members of “The Squad,” won her race with a 71% margin. 

The other Squad members, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, were all re-elected. Cori Bush of Missouri, the first Black woman to represent the state in Congress, has been called the new member of The Squad due to her progressive campaign.

Ballot elections this year ranged by state, with some questions overlapping. Multiple states held ballot questions on marijuana. New Jersey and Arizona voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Mississippi approved a program that will allow the use of medical marijuana for patients with chronic and severe conditions. Montana voted yes on two initiatives to legalize, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana. South Dakota voted to legalize medical marijuana, as votes are still being counted for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Abortion was on the ballot for Colorado and Louisiana. In Colorado, a ballot question asked voters whether they supported restrictions on abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy, a ruling that, if it were passed, would have banned nearly all procedures after 22 weeks. Louisiana asked voters if they approved of an amendment to their state Declaration of Rights clarifying that it does not protect the right to an abortion. Colorado voted no to restrictions on late-term abortions, while voters in Louisiana voted to approve of the amendment.

In California, voters approved Proposition 22, a measure that will exempt drivers for transportation and delivery companies, such as Uber and Lyft, from being classified as employees. 

The classification of being independent contractors disqualifies them from benefits such as health insurance, unemployment, and paid sick time. The proposition did include that companies will need to offer smaller benefits, such as accident insurance and a minimum guaranteed level of pay. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash spent more than $200 million on the measure.

In Massachusetts, voters approved of the ‘Right to Repair’ question by an overwhelming 75 percent. The question serves as an update to a 2012 repair law, where independent shops were allowed access to vehicle data to diagnose problems. The new measure will require carmakers to create a platform where car owners can access their data and grant access to repair shops and auto-part stores. 

The second Massachusetts ballot question on establishing ranked-choice voting was vetoed, with only 45 percent of voters approving it. Ranked-choice voting would allow voters to rank candidates rather than just voting for one. A candidate with more than 50 percent of first-choice votes would be considered the winner of the race. 

At approximately 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Trump claimed that his campaign already won the election. He also called the election “a fraud on the American public” and an “embarrassment.”  

With votes in several states still being counted, Trump doubled down on his efforts to try to stop the counts. He filed lawsuits on Wednesday in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, despite the latter already being called a victory for Biden. 

The lawsuits called for better access to ballot-counting by campaign observers. Trump’s campaign also announced that they will be seeking a recount in Wisconsin, a state also called for Biden. They cited irregularities in various counties but did not give specific information. Trump has not called for states like Nevada and Arizonastates that he is currently behind into stop counting their votes. 

Trump’s calls to stop the vote and attempts to declare victory led Facebook and Twitter to flag half of his posts. 

Twitter has warned that some of Trump’s tweets might be “misleading about an election or other civic process,” while Facebook warned on posts that “final votes may be different from the initial vote counts.” Twitter restricted the ability to like and retweet posts made by Trump that were flagged, but Facebook still allowed users to share flagged posts on their platform.