As a Black parent, I have had conversations about race with my oldest daughter, who is 7, for most of her life. I remember being young and receiving lessons or hearing anecdotes about racism or how to behave in the presence of police when I was her age and younger.
The events last summer turned those stories into a concrete reality. I had discussed issues like police brutality with my daughter before, but these conversations were primarily based on reaction to news stories or my reaction to events that happened to close friends or family members. I would understand the firsthand accounts, then relay information to her.
The protests over the summer opened a new reality to my daughter. For the first time, she not only heard me speak on the importance of Black lives, but she had the opportunity to march for Black lives herself. Being at rallies, hearing speakers, and marching with thousands of people opened her 7-year-old eyes to the power and impactful nature of protest. Our conversations became more robust and her understanding of the world, and specifically how harsh this world can be to Black folks, was an enlightening experience for her and a breathtaking experience for me. I was impressed with how much her mind could process, but I was disappointed that she and her peers are having these experiences.
In the 2020 presidential election, Trump won the second-highest number of votes by any U.S. presidential candidate in history. Though he still ended up losing the race, this number is nothing to sneeze at. I heard a general outcry of surprise and shock at these statistics, at how close this country was to a second Trump term, particularly from my white progressive liberal peers here in Seattle.
Exhaling … from the emotional exhaustion of the past four years. Saturday evening, after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris spoke as president and vice president elect, I joined the thousands, if not millions of Americans who finally slept through the night and woke up refreshed.
I had written commentary before the election, waiting only to insert a paragraph with the exact results. It was a get-this-out-of-my-system litany of the dishonest, disgusting, and death-causing policies of the current president. Writing was a good release as my fingers flew over the keyboard. But I realized Emerald readers have already lived through enough political trauma.
Dancing, forceful chants, and a plethora of honking cars marked the morning of Saturday, Nov. 7 as Seattleites on Capitol Hill celebrated the start of a new American era following the announcement of a Biden victory and the election of the first Woman of Color as vice president. The monumental day was also an occasion for continued protests for BLM marchers across town. The day’s combination of revelry and activism took a dark turn in the evening, however, with a fatal shooting in the early hours on Sunday.
It’s election night! This is a monumental, historic evening, and results at the national, state, and local level will have a huge impact on so many critical issues — from COVID-19 response to the economy, social justice, and reforming police departments. The Emerald will be posting live election results updates here as the night goes on, so check back frequently on our website or on our Twitter feed for the latest results. King County and Washington State will begin announcing election results at 8 p.m., and we’ll be reporting updates throughout the evening on local state legislative races, statewide offices, and a range of ballot measures on topics ranging from sex education to reforming the King County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition, Emerald editor and founder Marcus Harrison Green will be joining the good people at Converge Media (plus Emerald writers Lola E. Peters and M. Anthony Davis) for ongoing online election night coverage throughout the evening. Watch on Converge Media’s website, on Facebook, or on YouTube (or right here).
UPDATE – (11/7/20) 8:37 a.m.:
Joe Biden is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election after securing Pennsylvania, according to the Associated Press and NBC News. Biden’s victory makes Donald Trump a one-term president after four tumultuous years in the White House. Trump is the first incumbent to lose re-election in more than a quarter-century.
Biden’s projected victory also means that Kamala Harris will make history, becoming the first woman and first person of color to hold the office of vice-president.
Unsuccessful in his two previous bids for the presidency, Biden’s 2020 victory was delivered by a coalition of women, people of color, older and younger voters, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
UPDATE – (11/6/20) 8:58 a.m.:
Former Vice President Joe Biden is on the cusp of the presidency Friday, seizing a lead over President Donald Trump in both Pennsylvania and Georgia and drawing ever closer to securing the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
Biden, who has 253 electoral votes, pulled ahead of Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania by about 9,000 votes on Friday morning. If his lead holds — and it is expected to — the state’s 20 electoral votes would push him past the threshold to win the election. In Georgia, his lead was so narrow that state officials said a recount was inevitable.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, was declared the winner of the key swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan, two key swing states that President Trump won four years ago.
The Trump campaign has pressed ahead with lawsuits challenging the validity of the count in several states, a move that could further delay the announcement of the presidential victor.
Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens has already denied a request from Trump’s campaign to stop counting ballots over a claim that a poll challenger was denied access to view ballots being counted.
Biden is currently leading Trump in the popular vote by more than 3.8 million votes, should this stand it would be the second consecutive time that Trump has lost the popular vote.
UPDATE — 10:17 p.m.:
People in South Seattle are nervously watching the narrow presidential race, with Joe Biden and Donald Trump in a nail-biting Electoral College showdown that will depend on results from a few swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Congress too, seems a tossup, with both control of the Senate and House uncertain at this moment. However, there was no drama in the local House races, with U.S. House Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Adam Smith cruising to victories over marginal opposition. Jayapal, the rep for the 7th District, had 84.56% of the vote over opponent Craig Keller with 15.2%, while Smith, of the 9th District, led 75.84% to 23.98% over Doug Basler.
King County Proposition 1
A $1.74 billion bond measure (King County Prop 1) that would fund improvements to Harborview Medical Center, appeared to be passing easily this evening, with more than 77% in favor after early returns. A vote of 60% was required to pass the measure, which would fund a new $952 million medical facility, seismic and clinic upgrades, as well as a new 150-bed addition to provide medical care to people without shelter.
King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a released statement on the passage of the bond, “While there are still many votes to be counted, I thank the voters of King County for their support for Harborview Medical Center. These investments will ensure that our region continues to be the best place in the country to receive emergency medical care, and needed seismic upgrades will protect the lives of patients, employees, and visitors to Harborview. Besides helping people with behavioral health needs and better preparing the region to fight pandemics, the measure creates thousands of family-wage construction jobs at a time when our region needs them the most.”
UPDATE — 10:12 p.m.:
Seattle Proposition 1
Seattle voters approved a measure to replenish mass transit funds and add new bus service connecting Seattle to South King County, with Proposition 1 passing by a massive 80–20 margin. As reported by the Emerald, the proposition renews a 0.1% sales tax and car tab fee to raise an estimated $42 million per year. Supporters say it would protect free Orca cards for high school students, and ameliorate traffic and pollution in the Duwamish Valley.
“Today’s vote in support of Proposition 1 for transit funding is good news for West Seattle,” City Council member Lisa Herbold, who represents that area, said in a statement. “Proposition 1 specifies that up to $9 million annually to support mobility needs related to the closure of the West Seattle Bridge and COVID-19 response and recovery.”
UPDATE — 10 p.m.:
Two Democrats are running for Washington’s Lieutenant Governor seat: former US Rep. Denny Heck and Marko Liias, current Washington State Senate Majority Floor Leader.
Heck is leading 47.31% to Liias’ 33.81% with 2,934,397 votes counted so far, and with 18.89% going to write-in candidates.
Interest in the race was heightened by the possibility that Gov. Inslee may be wooed to take a White House cabinet position if Joe Biden is elected president. Inslee has indicated, however, that he would finish his third term if re-elected.
“They forgot where they live. We never forget where we live.”
It was November 9, 2016, the day after the last presidential election, and I was on the phone with my mom. I’d been telling her about how everyone in Seattle seemed to be in a state of shock. Everywhere I looked, people were in tears or stunned into silence — they just hadn’t seen it coming. They’d never honestly considered the possibility that Trump would become president. They were completely unprepared, and I was completely baffled. So I called my mom, the wisest person I know, and asked how these election results could possibly be such a surprise? A crushing disappointment, sure, but a surprise? And then she reminded me of a truth I’d been taking for granted: Some people get to forget how cruel this country can be, but Black people never can. We can’t afford to forget.
(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted with permission.)
From the exterior, the King County Elections headquarters resembles a drab office building, gray and in an industrial part of Renton, across from a used car dealership.
On the inside, however, officials want the public to think of it as the Fort Knox of elections.
King County, like the rest of the U.S., is careening toward one of the most anticipated elections in modern history. By Nov. 3, the Electoral College will either reelect President Donald Trump or replace him with former Vice President Joe Biden.
With two weeks left to go and millions of votes already cast, the legitimacy of the election is already being called into question.
In a couple of weeks, Washington State will mail out ballots for one of the most critical elections of our lifetimes. While every election is important, this upcoming contest has the potential to alter the course of our nation for generations, so every vote will count.
In the last presidential election, almost 77% of eligible, voting-age Washingtonians registered to vote — the highest percentage since 1984. However, turnout was only 65%. In King County, turnout declined by nearly 3% compared to 2012. Statewide, it went down by a similar amount.
While 65% turnout is high relative to other states, that leaves room for improvement.
Four years ago Esther “Little Dove” John, then 64, accomplished something she had wanted to do since junior high. She became a member of the electoral college, and in December 2016, joined 538 others across the country to choose the next president of the United States.
John, a longtime Beacon Hill community member, artist and activist whose friends call her Dove, never imagined her choice would cause a ripple that would reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Members of the electoral college are expected to vote for whoever wins the popular vote in their states. But in 2016, ten electors across the country tried, and seven succeeded, in casting a vote for someone else. It was the largest such revolt since 1808.