We knew it might be an Election Day unlike any other. But after last Tuesday, it soon became evident that this year’s US presidential race would culminate in an election week. Millions of voters opted to mail their ballots this year, due in part to concerns about in-person voting during a global pandemic. This surge in mail-in ballots meant some states took longer than usual to count votes and determine whether Democratic nominee Joe Biden or incumbent Republican Donald Trump had won the state.
This Election Day purgatory, while not totally unexpected, left plenty of time and space for tensions to fester, for cable news anchors to swipe at maps of the Electoral College, for misinformation to seep from dark corners of the internet into our news feeds, and for the current president to, well, tweet.
But now, the race has finally been called for Joe Biden. And with the most critical part of this election now in the rear view mirror (we hope), the big question is: What’s next? How will this affect the way our nation approaches future elections—and the future of election security? How will team Biden address the Covid-19 pandemic? What does a Biden administration mean for tech policy? And will we somehow find our way, as a society, out of the bog of misinformation that exists on internet platforms and that has contributed so much to the country’s divisions? On this week’s Get WIRED podcast, we talk to Gilad Edelman, Lily Hay Newman, and Emma Grey Ellis about why the polls were so wrong (again), how we know we can trust the election results, and why people keep spinning up online conspiracy theories. Also: Election memes.
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