Read more for a recap of the 2020 Election and how it relates to the history of voting!
The 2020 election is finally coming to a close after many suspenseful days of waiting for ballots to be counted. Since this election has taken place during a pandemic, it has changed the way people are able to have a say in our democracy and has possibly influenced the way voters will cast their ballots for years to come.
The election has broken previous records for voter turnout with at least 161 million Americans casting their vote. Covid-19 made the process of mail-in ballots more popular which is just one reason why more Americans participated than ever before.
History teacher at La Costa Canyon, Paul Giuliano, predicted this increase in voter turnout weeks before the election took place and explains the role of politics in people’s lives.
“The number of ballots cast this year in early voting is unparalleled. It'll be interesting to see if new records are set, as they were in 2008,” said Giuliano.
However, even with such a large voter turnout in the 2020 election, many potential voters still decide to not exercise their right to vote.
“But the percentage of eligible voters who actually cast ballots is way down from what it was in, say, the late 1800's. I think the reason is that in those days, politics was such an important part of people's lives. You had a system (called patronage) through which people could get high level political appointments simply because they supported the winning candidate. That sure got people involved. You also had very little else as far as popular entertainment, so politics kind of filled that space,” said Giuliano.
The concept of voting may seem daunting, but actually only takes a few steps to submit your ballot. Giuliano remembered his first time voting and what he learned from being involved in the process.
“My first ballot cast in a Presidential election was 1992. I was a Sophomore at UCSB and I remember being really excited about getting informed about the election. I remember thinking how easy the process was. It was almost like, ‘that's it?’ It's really not difficult but is so vitally important,” said Giuliano.
Even if Mavericks were not able to participate in the 2020 election, it is still possible for them to be involved in politics. In two years, there will be a vote to elect the next governor of California. Also, every year there are multiple propositions and local races that voters can have a say in. If eligible, Mavericks can pre-register today so they are prepared to vote in the next election. This will make sure their voices are heard in the years to come.