Election Updates

The 2020 Presidential Race


Live election map from The Associated Press at 12:02 PST, Nov. 4

By Lena Tinker, Editorial Editor

Tuesday’s election has been anxiously awaited since the 2016 results put Donald Trump in office as President of the United States. As ballots will continue to be counted over the next few days or weeks, the country awaits its fate. 

Tuesday night’s election results did not provide any definite information about which presidential candidate will win. Georgia, and North Carolina will have important implications into who will win the presidency. If Trump loses in either of these two states, Biden will become a favorite to win the election, according to the New York Times. 

Over the past four years, many Americans have felt that their democracy was unraveling before their eyes. The fear and tension that this election has created cannot be understated. Election pressure has resulted in collisions between Trump supporters and critics over the past week.

A parade of Trump supporting vehicles surrounded a tour bus carrying members of the Biden campaign, causing the cancellation of two Biden events in Texas. A police officer in New York was suspended from his job for repeatedly yelling, “Trump 2020!” through his loudspeaker. Trump has encouraged his base to “Go to the polls and watch very carefully,” reported the Atlantic.  

This unrest caused Portland Public Schools to provide an election tool kit sent to all staff members that provides resources for both staff and students, with a special attention focused on the BIPOC community.

In a letter sent to Cleveland High School (CHS) families on Oct. 30, Principal Jo Ann Wadkins offered affinity spaces for students and staff of color to debrief election results, led by Cleveland staff members Charles Hunter and Kenneth Deweese. Wadkins promised to be watching for any hate speech or actions. “Know that we stand resolute against any symbols or expression of racism,” she stated.   

“Next week may provide challenges for all of us as the election results are announced or delayed. At Cleveland we want to support our students and staff in processing this consequential election.” 

Many CHS students have been contemplating the implications of the momentous election.

“I am feeling both overwhelmed and worried about the future for myself as a black man and the futures of my little siblings. I want them to grow up and not have to continue to fear and be feared due to skin color,” said senior Mohamed Mohamed. 

He is not alone in his fear.

“I’m preparing for the worst” said senior Stanford Kobayashi, a dual citizen of the United States and 

Japan. “Kinda weighing the options I have in terms of citizenship to be honest,” he added. 

Staff members have been checking in with their students throughout the week. Some teachers are creating space for students to share how they are feeling before class begins, while others encourage their students to practice self care over this coming week.

“I’ve been good and stressed,” said senior Hawk Ferdig. “There’s kind of just a constant feeling of dread in the fear that Donald will win again.”  

Some students struggle to find resolution no matter the winner of the 2020 election. 

Senior Lana Perice said, “I find no comfort in watching the news obsessively, and yet I find myself doing it anyways. Either candidate brings about a new fate for America, both stupidly complacent but one more willing to recognize humanity than the other.”

Students have been reminded by their teachers to take care of themselves and their loved ones as votes continue to come in. Instagram feeds are full of reminders to stay safe amidst the predicted chaos and distress of tonight’s election. Many seniors feel pressure as some are able to vote for the first time, while some regret not yet being voting age. 

“I’m feeling very anxious tonight just because of the 2016 election,” said junior Simone Guite. “I am hopeful, but at the same time I am very cautious because there is a very good possibility that Trump will win tonight which is a scary thought.”

The emotions of CHS students and staff reveal the broader dynamics of the United States as polls are closed across the country. 

In an appearance at 12:40 a.m. at a car rally in Delaware, former Vice President Joe Biden urged his supporters to keep faith. He stated confidently that Democrats would win in Pennsylvania, a critical state for him to win the election.

We await an appearance from President Donald Trump, who responded to Biden’s appearance with two tweets and promised a speech at some point in the late hours of Election Night (and now morning across the East Coast).

Trump tweeted, “We are up BIG, but they [democrats] are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the polls are closed!” This Tweet has already been obscured by Twitter for misleading content. 

The PBS NewsHour reports that President Trump has won both Texas and Florida, two states that Democrats had hoped would turn blue in this election. However, neither of these states were deemed necessary for a Biden victory. 

“I’m just terrified,” said senior Yena Perice. 

The theme of the night is that nothing can be certain as we await the continuous vote counts that will come in over the next few days and throughout the night.