The lines started before the polls opened. The messages for the vote were sent by Republicans and Democrats alike. And the back-and-forth over whether voters should wear masks stretched from Florida to Texas, Georgia to Wisconsin. In some states, local counties’ demands to wear masks have been brought to justice. The courts generally sided with the counties.
And a federal judge in the US District Court in Washington, DC ordered the US Postal Service to ensure that any uncounted ballot papers came out of their facilities. Welcome to the 2020 election where nearly 100 million of us voted by mail and only time will tell how many voted in the election.
As of late afternoon ET, the courtesy of social media voting looked like this:
In Bucks County outside of Philadelphia, voters were queued early that morning.
But long lines appeared everywhere. Brittany Brown, a Mississippi Today reporter, shared a video on a line in Lafayette County. She said that no masking was required, but that campaign workers were handing out masks and that many people wore their own.
CNN reported lines in Wisconsin and Detroit before the polls opened, but that they moved quickly once people started voting.
It wasn’t just ordinary people who got out on social media, politicians and celebrities alike encouraged voting. “Today is the day – grab a friend and vote!” Message Senator Lindsey Graham on Twitter. This encouragement received mixed reactions in comments and retweets. Some commentators said they voted for Graham and wished him well, while others happily shared that they voted for his opponent Jaime Harrison.
In addition to the presidential elections, there are 35 Senate seats to choose from and 435 are open in the House of Representatives.
The president started his day with a tweet exchanging voting information from state to state. Former Vice President Joe Biden, his opponent, was also on Twitter, encouraging voting and informing supporters of accessibility in the election.
Mr. Biden wasn’t the only one sharing information. Citizen.org tweeted, “If you stand in line when the polls close today, stay in line. You can still cast your vote. “
The fear of misinformation on the innumerable platforms prompted Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to send out warnings. They did that before today.
Twitter assured its followers that the election results would be reported factually. “People on Twitter, including candidates for office, may not be able to claim an election victory unless it is named authoritatively,” wrote Twitter on its blog. “Tweets containing early claims will be flagged and direct people to our official US election page.” Twitter will also add a warning label to election-related tweets that are misleading.
Instagram only shows top posts instead of top and recent posts. “Recent posts from all hashtags may be temporarily hidden to prevent the spread of possible false information and harmful content related to the 2020 US election.”
People are voting in record numbers. @JaysFanJordan, a surgeon according to his bio, shared his unofficial survey data on Twitter
Early surveys come from my practice.
I am pleased that all the patients who were treated in my practice today either voted ahead of time or wanted to vote in person after their visit.
100% voter turnout projected!
– Jays Fan Jordan (@JaysFanJordan) November 3, 2020
Others, however, share more helpful advice: if someone stands in line when the polling station closes, they can still vote. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote.”