By Lauren Wolters
After almost four days of tallying votes, multiple media outlets called Joe Biden as the President on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Many Americans became impatient with the delayed Presidential election results. An example of this is University of Findlay student, Ben Batchelor.
“I am frustrated with having to wait days to find out who actually won, and even then, not knowing for sure who actually won,” Batchelor said.
However, Dr. Diana Montague, Professor of Communication at the University of Findlay, explains in an email interview why waiting so long for the results this year is acceptable.
“With the pandemic there were many more people who either voted early or mailed in their ballots, so counting took longer in multiple states,” Dr. Montague states. “That didn’t sit well with an impatient population but waiting for certainty in the ‘close call’ states was absolutely the right thing to do.”
Patience is not only an important virtue among the American people, but also among the journalists who covered the election.
“The Associated Press has been ‘calling’ the elections for years, and has always done so with a researched, cautious, mathematical process,” Dr. Montague said. “While journalists want to be the first to publish news, this year in particular it was critical to wait for a clear winning candidate before each state was deemed a win for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump.”
Donald Trump will be the first President to lose reelection for a second term since George H. W. Bush in 1993. Trump is not the only one making history as Vice President elect, Kamala Harris, will be the first female, first black person, and first person of South Asian descent to serve as Vice President of the United States.
Biden gave his acceptance speech on Saturday night as many Americans took to the streets to celebrate or protest the results. Biden’s supporters gathered across the country. They celebrated the victory in the streets, banging pots and honking car horns.
Trump’s supporters were seen protesting in many state capitols with a new campaign slogan, “Stop the Steal.” Even so, the protests were reported as mostly peaceful.
Batchelor is excited that Americans have reacted peacefully thus far. He hopes this peace will continue into the next presidential term.
“I am hopeful for a peaceful transfer of power and healing the partisan divide in our country,” Batchelor said.
All this excitement and opposition is only the initial reaction of the American people, as the election is far from over. All the states plan to verify their results beginning Nov. 10 through Dec. 11. This process is anticipated to be longer than previous elections due to the current allegations of voter fraud and Trump’s pending lawsuits against multiple states.
Dr. Montague appreciated the journalists who actively disproved the allegations of voter fraud.
“That’s what good journalists do–separate fact from fiction, verify what’s fact and what’s fiction, and clearly explain those findings to the audience.”
Montague praises news channels and online national newspapers for their expert coverage of the unprecedented election.
“I particularly enjoyed following coverage on the New York Times and Washington Post websites, as the U.S. map was interactive and easy to see who was ahead with what percentage counted,” Montague said.