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U.S. presidential election only a week ahead

Posted October. 27, 2020 07:53,   

Updated October. 27, 2020 07:53


The upcoming U.S. presidential election, which is slated for next Tuesday, is fueling much concern with a significant share of supporters of both the Republican and Democratic Parties expressing their willingness to take to the streets as refusal to accept the election results. And a ballot drop box set on fire in Boston.

According to a new Reuters/Ipsos polling of the 2,649 respondents on Sunday, 43% of Biden supporters and 41% of Trump followers said they won’t accept the victory of the other candidate. And 22% and 16% of the Democratic and Republican supporters respectively gave an answer that they will stage a protest should their party candidate lose the election.

President Trump has claimed the mail-in voting system is susceptible to rigging, saying he won’t accept the result of the election over several occasions. When asked if he can promise a peaceful transition of power last Friday, Mr. Trump refused to answer the question. Concern is intensifying that the fairness of the November election might not be guaranteed owing to the dissatisfied supporter sentiment and the repeated attempts from anti-American states to interfere with the election. In fact, the U.S. intelligence authorities disclosed the news that Iran and Russia stole the private information of voters and disseminated false information manipulating people into plural voting.

This year, the U.S. presidential election is showing the biggest turnout in history, with 60 million Americans having cast their ballot in early voting as of Sunday. The Associated Press news reported that a ballot drop box installed outside the Public Library in Boston caught fire, damaging some 120 ballots inside. A week earlier, another arson took place at a ballot collecting box in Los Angeles, California. Those whose ballots have been damaged are allowed to vote again either at the poll or through a main-in voting, but it will inevitably mar the fairness and integrity of the election.

Pundits say it will take a clear-cut landslide victory either by Trump or Biden to dissipate any potential backlashes from the opposite camp. “If either one of the candidates proposes a convincing allegation over election rigging, it can trigger a round of much more serious protests than anticipated in the recent surveys,” said Professor Donald Green of Political Science at Columbia University.

Jong-Yeob JO jjj@donga.com