The Golden State Warriors’ star, Stephen Curry, called on Americans to be “strong and brave” and appeared in large numbers on election day while renewing his support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Millions of Americans will go to the polls on November 3 when one of the most bitterly contested presidential races in recent times comes to an end after a campaign that took place in the middle of a global pandemic and in which President Donald Trump repeatedly sowed doubts about the legitimacy of the electoral process.
In a video for The Lincoln Project, Curry, who publicly endorsed Biden in August, warned voters to be cautious and safe and to adhere to the social distancing measures taken in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, but urged them not to be intimidated and to go to the polls.
“We need your vote as never before, but you know what we need even more? We need you to be careful, we need you to be safe and to protect yourself and your families,” he said.
“Wear a mask, vote and vote now. Don’t be afraid, because this is what they want. They want you to be so afraid that you stay at home so that your vote doesn’t count and you won’t be heard. Be strong, be safe, be brave. Mask yourself and vote. Vote for Joe [Biden], your future depends on it.”
Vote for Joe [Biden], your future depends on it. Your future depends on it. pic.twitter.com/q7P8vRBJr6
– The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) November 3, 2020
Throughout the entire election campaign, proposals for voter suppression kept popping up. Greg Abbott of the Texas government and Frank LaRose, Secretary of State for the State of Ohio, both Republicans, have limited the number of mailboxes available to voters. The restriction of drop-off points is significant in that voters in a densely populated urban district have access to the same number of mailboxes as their counterparts in rural, sparsely populated areas.
The Democrats initially sued and won in both Ohio and Texas, except that the appellate courts in both states supported LaRose and Abbott.
The use of postal votes has risen to unprecedented levels because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the U.S. Elections Project, over 63 million Americans have already cast their votes by mail, with over 7.7 million registered Democrats among those who returned their ballots by mail. The numbers indicated that over 29 million postal ballots were still outstanding.
The postal ballot was one of the most discussed issues in the campaign, with Trump and the Republicans repeatedly denouncing the postal ballot as being susceptible to fraud.
Over the weekend, the President resisted a Supreme Court decision allowing Pennsylvania officials to count stamped ballots until election day, provided they are received by the end of the week.
“I think it’s terrible that in a modern computer age we can’t know the results of an election on election night,” Trump said.
The Democrats have accused the head of the U.S. Postal Service, Louis DeJoy, of deliberately slowing down deliveries to help Republicans. DeJoy, a Trump donor, was appointed by the Republican incumbent earlier this year to head the U.S. Postal Service and wasted no time in implementing far-reaching changes to improve the efficiency of the service.
The changes have resulted in large backlogs of mail in several states, but DeJoy has steadfastly denied allegations that he deliberately tried to help Trump.
Along with several NBA stars, Curry has supported the “More Than A Vote” campaign, which was launched by LeBron James and former First Lady Michelle Obama to combat misinformation directed at black voters.
The low turnout in the presidential elections has long been an issue. According to the U.S. Election Project, voter turnout in 18 presidential elections has only exceeded 60 percent eight times since the end of World War II, reaching a peak of 63.8 percent in 1960.
With the exception of 2012, three of the last four presidential elections recorded voter turnout of over 60 percent, peaking at 61.6 percent in 2008. While the pattern of voter disenfranchisement can be traced back to different demographic conditions in the country, the problem is particularly acute among young black Americans.
According to official figures, four years ago only 47 percent of black voters under the age of 30 eligible to vote cast their ballots, while voter turnout among the over-65s was over 70 percent.