Historical Firsts from the Election of 2020

Josefina Albert, Online Editor

    No matter the outcome, the election of 2020 will mark many firsts. COVID 19, still a prominent health crisis among the public, has spurred change within many systems. From the way voter ballots are received and sent in to presidential campaigns and debates, candidates and voters alike have had to adjust. 

    With many hesitant to enter large social areas and others trying to make sure their vote is secure, mail-in voting is being increasingly seen as a more viable option. On the other hand, concerns with the stability of the USPS and the possibility of voter fraud has some voters turning to the regular polling stations for voting. However, even with new challenges, this year has seen an increase in voter turnout among all ethnic, racial and age groups.

    During the presidential debates, coronavirus protocols have also had to be implemented. Although the debates looked fairly the same to viewers from home, behind the scenes limited audiences, mandatory masks and plastic barriers were all enforced. Due to the second presidential debate’s cancellation from Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, two town halls took place concurrently a few weeks before election day, leaving viewers with the decision of which candidate to tune in to. 

    Among the candidates, the firsts continue. Not only does this election have two of the oldest presidential nominees, with Joe Biden at 77 and Donald Trump at 74, there also remains the potential for the first ever female, South Asian, and black vice president, Kamala Harris. Harris previously served as a District Attorney in San Francisco, and in 2017 was sworn in as a California state senator. Furthermore, Trump is the first president to ever be impeached and still run for reelection the next term. Two other United States presidents have been impeached in the past, but neither ran for the next election, due to term limits and not being chosen as their party’s nominee. This year’s unique selection of candidates, although drawing criticism from some, will undoubtedly leave a mark on history no matter how the pendulum swings on election day.