Do not let the polls fool you

Christina Greer, Ph.D. | 9/17/2020, midnight
We are now just under two months before the election on November 3rd. Although we will be voting for the ...
Dr. Christina Greer

We are now just under two months before the election on November 3rd. Although we will be voting for the president and vice president of the United States, there will also be several other positions on our various ballots for U.S. senators, members of the house, and lower level offices depending on the state in which you reside.

The latest polls have former Vice President Joe Biden with a substantial lead in several key states and nationally. However, this is not the time to get complacent. The current president has stated clearly that he will employ all his resources at hand to win the election, including cheating and utilizing assistance from foreign adversaries. He and his party have also begun to make sure that a free and fair election is not possible in towns, counties and states across the country.

Dismantling machines at U.S. post offices in key areas and removing blue mailboxes are just some of the strategies they have already employed. If they follow the Republican playbook of 2018, we can be assured that several voters of color will arrive to their polling stations to find their names removed from the rolls and will then need to vote by provisional ballot. In so many counties across Georgia and Florida in 2018, those provisional ballots either were not given to voters due to vague bureaucratic reasons or they were not available because they were never delivered. These were not coincidences; they were coordinated attempts to decrease the Democratic vote count.

We cannot get complacent with this election. The current president poses a significant threat to our overall democracy and the health and wealth of this nation. As of now, over 200,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, with Black Americans disproportionately affected by the virus. Unemployment is rising and not surprisingly Black communities and small businesses are being hit harder than others. As fires burn across California and Oregon, the president remains silent. As vigilantes kill innocent protestors, the president supports armed white vigilantes and not peaceful citizens. As police officers murder innocent Black people on camera with impunity, the president sides with police officers and not his own citizens.

Donald Trump has been telling Americans who he is and what he believes, and that is that he is a white nationalist who loves power and refuses to concede it. It is imperative that Joe Biden win by a margin of error that decreases the president’s ability to cry foul and claim theft. We can presume the president will do so anyway, but it is necessary to mitigate some of his foolishness that we know will be supported and encouraged by media outlets on loop.

Millions of Americans want a white nationalist vision of this nation. We must fight for our democracy at the ballot box on November 3rd. Our lives depend on it.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.