How to Cover Election Day and Beyond

October 19, 2020  • Garrett Graff & Vivian Schiller

Americans think about elections wrong; they aren’t only about tallying votes to declare a winner. Elections in a democracy are just as much about convincing the loser that he or she actually lost—and that the process was free, fair, and secure enough that the loser can accept the result as legitimate.

Now, only weeks before Election Day, there’s a growing realization that the complexity of this year’s electoral landscape—from pandemic-related social distancing and poll-staffing disruptions to mail-in voting and a combustible year of public protests—likely means that some of the presidential campaign’s biggest drama might very well play out in the hours and days after Election Day. 

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