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Looking back at the biggest event of last year: The 2020 presidential election season

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Megan Ewing | The Daily Wildcat A supporter of the Biden/Harris campaign greets the campaign’s bus with excitement, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 in Tucson, Ariz. The bus made stops in Yuma and Tucson to share more information about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s campaign.

Amidst a worldwide pandemic and major social justice issues, election year raged on as one of the most intense our generation has ever seen. 

During arguably one of the most unstable years of our country’s political history, both parties had every American’s eyes on them as they held highly public races at every level. According to Pew Research Center, the most Americans voted in the 2020 presidential election than any other election in the country’s history with over 158 million ballots cast. 

The election was anything but friendly and brought wide publicity, capped off by a bitter transfer of power from former President Donald Trump to the Nov. 3 victor, President Joe Biden. As we say goodbye to the 2020-21 academic year, let’s take a look back at the biggest event of the year. 

On Aug. 18, 2020, Biden — also a former vice president —  was formally nominated at the Democratic National Convention as the democratic nominee for president, with Kamala Harris as vice president-elect. Trump was formally nominated and accepted the Republican nomination on Aug. 24, 2020, along with former Vice President Mike Pence. 

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Other candidates that ran were Jo Jorgenson for the Libertarian party and Howie Hawkins for the Green party. Two presidential debates took place, the first on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, and the second was cancelled and moved to Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee.  

The election on Nov. 4 had the most voters cast their ballots in history, along with almost 100 million of these being early ballots, the most ever cast in a century, according to Vox

Alas, Americans were kept on the edge of their seats for days as the race remained too close to call until days later. Arizona, one of the swing states, was called on the evening of Nov. 4, with Biden taking 11 electoral votes for the historically red state. 

There were 13 swing states in this election, with three of them being the most contested ballot counts in the weeks to follow: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Biden was officially called as the winner on Nov. 7, 2020, as reported by the Associated Press

In the weeks that followed, Republicans and their leader, Trump, fought the results with accusations of voter fraud. As of Feb. 22, Business Insider reported 42 lost appeals for Trump and the Republicans in every level of the courts. These losses included three in the Supreme Court, 13 in Pennsylvania, four in Nevada and Arizona, five in Georgia and Michigan, seven in Wisconsin and one in New Mexico. 

On Jan. 6, 2021, the day Congress was voting to certify Biden, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington. While debating the certification of Arizona’s results, the Capitol was breached by rioters. It was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. 

Following these events, Trump was formally impeached for a second time on Jan. 13, according to NBC. He was acquitted a month later on Feb. 13. The events at the Capitol led to an all too unhappy ending to the hostile election year, with Trump leaving the White House the day of the new president’s inauguration without attending it. 

The show went on though, and Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20, along with Harris, the first female and person of color to hold vice president in American history. 

The political unrest of the election year was just another thing that we found ourselves enduring from 2020, but thankfully, four more years remain until we face the chaos of the next election year in 2024. 


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