On Nov. 3rd, 2020, the United States held a record-breaking presidential election. A year later, the effects of the election results have contributed to the voting knowledge of students at Oklahoma Christian University.
There were a total six voting records broken during the 2020 election, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Business Insider, voters in America “set a new record for early votes, casting 101 million pre-election ballots” among other state and congressional records. These records took place in states like Oregon and Missouri along with congress electing their youngest member at 25 years old.
Looking back at these record-breaking moments during the election has helped students like junior Danica Hammack prepare for future elections.
“The biggest difference was the fact that so many people questioned and struggled with trusting the legitimacy of our voting systems and the other party,” Hammack said. “No one trusted each other and the media frenzy just constantly fueled the fire.”
Hammack is the firm director for Oklahoma Christian’s Eagle PR, who hosted a voting campaign during the 2020 election.
The campaign was called “Your Vote, Your Future” which helped provide information for young voters on campus. Students were able to have tools on how to register to vote as well as where they can find their polling stations.
“Being able to attend a school where they encourage and provide students with the necessary materials and encouragement lays the foundation for future voters, allowing us the resources to build our own opinions and vote for our own policies,” Hammack said.
Campaigns like the ones from Eagle PR have helped promote the turnout of the 2020 election.
Senior Brighton Frost said she was proud of the nation for voting during COVID-19.
“I think both parties could have been more understanding of the other, but other than some individuals’ belief that ballots were being thrown away and that misinformation, I think it was held really well,” Frost said. “The turnout was significantly higher than the 2016 election, which is something we should be proud of.”
Since the 2020 election, sources like the Washington Post have stated how conflicts between both parties have gradually increased. This has been noticed in the recent governor election in Virginia. The republican win for Virginia’s “gubernatorial election was not a total surprise”.
Hammack said she did not know what to expect from such a heavily televised election.
“Being the first presidential election where I was old enough to participate, I didn’t know what all to expect, but I was not prepared for all of the drama,” Hammock said. “With everyone yelling at each other and so many issues popping up regarding filling ballot boxes or burning ballots, it was like the truth didn’t matter if it didn’t align strictly with one’s political views.”
The election results were compared to the election of 1800. In this, Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams after being tied for votes multiple times and they had to rely on the House of Representatives.
Frost said she thinks this is the first time Americans have doubted the outcome of an election.
“Historically, it’s not that different from past elections,” Frost said. “Nominees have always been nasty and citizen combatant. I think Americans’ tendency to glorify the past, especially the deification of the founding fathers, has led us to think that past elections were better- they absolutely were not.”
There are already candidates in the early stages of campaigning for the next presidential election. Looking back at the year after the 2020 election, Oklahoma Christian students have the tools to prepare for the next election in 2024.