Elections – Starting the conversation.
U.S. Elections Overview – the Past, Present, and Future
U.S. elections have evolved significantly since they were first held on Monday, December 15, 1788.
Most significant is the expansion of voting rights to women and minorities via several constitutional amendments.
Currently, all Americans can vote or vie for an election, regardless of religion, gender, race, or economic status, unlike in the past when only white property-owning males were allowed to vote.
Over the years, the voter demographics have diversified, which also influences the outcome of the elections. Political parties have tried to capitalize on the demographics to gain an advantage over rivals.
However, this has led to allegations of voter suppression by democrats who allege that certain minority groups are unfairly prevented from voting through extralegal measures.
According to Democrats, Republican-dominated states attempt to suppress African American voters through various measures that make it difficult to register voters, vote by mail, transport voters, and vote in person, for example, through voter identification laws.
However, the states believe such measures are necessary to prevent voter fraud, such as repeat voting and impersonation, which are hard to prevent without identifying voters.
Ironically, the 2020 presidential election witnessed historic numbers of Americans casting their votes, including African Americans.
Additionally, the United States is among the few developed countries that do not require voter identification to cast ballots and allow absentee voting.
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center founder John R Lott Jr., the lack of these laws could significantly change an election’s outcome, undermining its credibility.
The United States held its most recent presidential polls in 2020, with Joe Biden being declared the winner in a highly-contested election. The ratification of alleged Biden’s victory caused the January 6 protests from Trump’s supporters, with Democrats describing the event as insurrection.
They created the infamous Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack with seven Democrats and two Republicans after attempts to form a bipartisan committee failed.
While some accused former president Donald Trump of setting a precedent by disputing the 2020 American presidential elections, most elections in recent U.S. history were highly disputed.
For example, Hillary Clinton’s supporters rejected Trump’s victory in 2016, inventing the phrase “not my president.” They claimed that Russia interfered with the U.S. elections to help elect Trump by undermining Hillary’s campaign by leaking her emails.
George W. Bush’s win against Al Gore with one electoral college vote also raised questions about the legitimacy of the elections. The examples suggest that disputing American elections is not a new phenomenon.
The U.S. will hold the next presidential elections in 2024, having conducted the midterms in November 2022.
Former president Donald Trump has confirmed that he will vie to become the president of the United States.
Similarly, Biden had indicated that he would seek re-election since the beginning of his presidency.
Although only over a third (37%) of Democrats want Biden to run in 2024, no challenger has declared interest in the seat.
Less than half of the country supports the incumbent, and the next election could result in a change of guard at the White House.
Subsequently, it could result in changes in government policy on various issues such as energy, climate, gender-related issues, and potentially the war in Ukraine.
And while critical election issues remain unresolved and given the history of past U.S. elections, the next election’s results will also likely be challenged.
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