Issues with the 2020 presidential election

By: Anna Hisle

The 2020 presidential election was a very stressful one. Election year is usually nerve wracking, but the 2020 election was even more nerving than most.

With the pandemic and the important election, there are many issues that occurred. 

Pictures of Ballots

One issue was people taking pictures of their ballots. While this is always an issue, it was especially dominant this year. Because of the pandemic, according to “Pew Research Center”, half of the people in the 2020 election mailed in ballots.

While in some states, it is completely legal to take pictures of your ballot, according to “VOX”, in more than half of the U.S. states, it is illegal.

Because it is illegal to take pictures of your ballot in some states, some ballots could become invalid.

So, always make sure to check if you’re allowed to snap a selfie with your ballot before you do it, so it is counted.

See the image below to know if it’s legal for you to take a ballot selfie.

Not mailing ballots in time

Due to COVID, people weren’t as willing to go to vote in person this election year.

Mail in ballots are normal during elections but this year, many more people than usual have mailed in ballots instead.

Since it was some people’s first time mailing in ballots, they did not know how early to mail them. 

Also, due to the amount of mail in ballots, the USPS, and mailing services, were overwhelmed. 

Due to the fact that so many people were mailing in ballots, some of them might not have been correct, or they might not have arrived on time, or been counted. 

If you mailed in your ballot, you had to make sure that it arrived before the deadline. Some people didn’t notice if it never arrived, or if it was sent in too late. If you didn’t receive a message/confirmation your vote arrived, or your vote didn’t arrive in time, then your vote was most likely not counted. 

These things cause many voters to not actually have their vote counted. While the chances of this actually affecting the election are slim, it is still better to make sure your votes are counted.

Before mail in voting, always make sure you have enough time to send in the ballot. 

While where were more issues that occurred during this election, these were the most important, and most common ones, that arose. 

Be smart voting and be heard!

USAG’s culture of abuse

By: Elizabeth Woxland

For over two decades, over 370 gymnasts (primarily minors) encountered sexual abuse “by gym owners, coaches, and staff working for gymnastics programs across the country,” according to an interview in ‘Vice’. Throughout those years, USAG silenced the gymnasts and continued to ignore the reports of molestation, specifically by a USAG doctor, Larry Nassar, who is now named in hundreds of lawsuits for engaging in sexual abuse.

Over 265 women came out to the public, addressing the abuse they faced, which became one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in sports history. This scandal led to the questioning of USAG’s way of training their gymnasts.

After the first allegations of sexual abuse were brought to the attention of USAG, Nassar continued to work for many months after. Maggie Nichols, the athlete who took part in the first allegation, was secretly taken out of the public eye for representing USAG. Many believe Nichols would’ve competed in the 2016 Olympics if she didn’t come forward with her sexual abuse. Nichols’s specific situation was detailed in the Netflix movie ‘Athlete A’ and she was also  interviewed by NBC.

Other abuse scandals started to arise after the sexual abuse scandal was brought to the public. Bela and Martha Karolyi are head coaches for USAG, and are now facing backlash for their abusive way of coaching.

The training that the girls in USAG have is now being criticized for a toxic culture and unsafe way of training. The average competitive gymnast for USAG trains year round for as much as 12 hours a day.

It was a very regular thing for girls injuries to be overlooked. In a ‘PE’ article they state: “Nine out of every 10 gymnasts we interviewed said that they had continued to train on injuries that resulted in broken bones or surgery or that they had resumed training without getting clearance from a doctor.” Think of the so-called “inspiring moment” when Kerri Strugg broke her leg on her first vault, and her coaches convinced her to still do a second vault.

This goes to show the toxic culture of winning at all costs in the mindset of USAG coaches and
trainers.