By Milan Riley
On Tuesday, January 19th, 2021, board member Kelly Gonez made an announcement for the Board District 6 community. The BD6 3rd Annual Art Contest is now open! This year, the competition will be completely virtual because of the pandemic. All Pre-K to 12th grade students attending a LAUSD school in Board District 6 (BD6) can participate.
Students can create one original piece of artwork based on this year’s theme “Hope and Resilience”, which was inspired by the pandemic. Artwork can be hand drawn or created digitally. Participants can turn in their artwork here, using Google Forms. The deadline for turning in artwork is February 14, 2020!
The Officer of Board Member Kelly Gonez will have permission from those submitting the form to share artwork and/or use it to promote the BD6 art contest with marketing materials such as social media, virtual exhibit, and more.
Students are encouraged to spread the word and visit their website here . If anyone has questions about the contest, they can call their office at 213-241-6388 or email them at email@example.com .
By Desmond Devine
Although some students might be a bit sad that Winter Break is ending, the Associated Student Body of the Science Academy STEM Magnet will make sure that coming back to school is a fun experience! Each day, ASB will post an update on their Schoology Group, S.A. Student Body Outreach, containing the day’s question and a Google Form to submit an answer. Correct answers will be entered in a lottery and the winner will receive extra English credit (plus bragging rights)! The Bonus Game will continue each day until Friday, January 22nd.
The question for Tuesday, January 12th was, “What is the powerhouse of the cell?”. The answer was “The Mitochondria” and the lottery winner was Alma S. of Grade 8!
The question for Wednesday, January 13th was, “Which brain structure regulates circadian rhythms in humans?”. The answer was “Suprachiasmatic nucleus” and the winner was Ryan P. of Grade 8!
The question for Thursday, January 14th was, “What is the band of axons that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain?”. The answer was “Corpus callosum” and the winner was Ava-Ray P. of Grade 6!
The question for Friday, January 15th was, “What are the SI units of the measure of the compactness of a substance? (Hint: “compactness”)”. The answer was “Kg/m^3” and the winner was Nikita A. of Grade 11!
The question for Tuesday, January 19th was, “Where are inverses of exponentiation not found?”. The answer was “The patterns found on a dog’s paw” and the winner was Justin K. of Grade 6!
The question for Wednesday, January 20th was, “What is the theory of psychology that argues that the emotional response of a person evokes the physiological experience?”. The winner was Alex R. of Grade 7!
The question for Thursday, January 21st was, “(v^3+4v^2-54v-85) / (v+9)”. The winner was Peter H. of Grade 11!
The question for Friday, January 22nd is, “What is the empirical formula of Fructose 2, 6 bisphosphate?”.Read More
By Emily Corona
On October 31st, seven members of the Science Academy Debate Club took on their first Tri-County Forensics League (TCFL) Novice Speech Tournament with great success. The Debate Club consists of the high school students at the Science Academy, sponsored by Mr. Brooker, who have had prior experience with debate in their English classes. Now, these students have taken the initiative, using their skills developed from intramural debate, and dove into the competitive sphere against other school teams. The students participating hailed from a myriad of schools across the district, and were assigned number scores to determine their overall placements. The tournament itself, held over Zoom, consisted of thirteen different categories, two of which the team participated in on Saturday morning.
The team did incredibly well, with three participants from the Science Academy ranking in the top five in Spontaneous Argumentation. The argumentation was impromptu, and the students had no prior knowledge of the topics given. In this form of debate, participants are given one minute to prepare after the topic is presented, and after must argue their given stance. Some of the featured topics given included TikTok and its potential threat to national security, teachers sharing political views in classrooms, and sports teams and political slogans, according to Sarah Lane. Based on their argumentation and overall performance in comparison to other students in their breakout room, participants were awarded points. Sarah, an 11th grader and Debate Club historian, proudly placed first in the Spontaneous Argumentation event, netting over 289 total points. Leila Muney, tenth grader and Debate Club vice president, placed second and earned over 282 points for her performance. Mary Sarukhanyan, a 10th grader and current president of Speech and Debate Club, placed a close fourth in the event, as well, gaining 280 points.
One of the team members also placed in the top three in the Original Oratory event. Gregory Kislik, an 11th grader, placed third for his speech about misinformation, scoring an impressive 272 points. Greg was kind enough to provide portions of his oratory, which was to be prewritten and prerecorded for judging at the tournament. Greg’s speech, “An Untrue Truth”, talks about the need to be correct and how reliable sources can be subject to bias, as well as how misinformation has even permeated the scientific community:
“Researcher bias and error is a factor which can mislead the public because of the researcher’s perceived authority over a certain subject. Errors such as publication bias, in which publishing is based on outcome, reporting bias, which is the reporting of only positive outcomes (and neglecting negative ones), as well as spin (how the data is framed) are commonplace throughout research.”
Greg’s speech is an insightful look into the realm of misinformation, and how it affects everyone down to the sources thought to be unquestionably credible. The witty humor, coupled with the informational sources, provide an interesting take on something we often pay no mind to in the scientific community. It’s easy to see why he received such a high placement.
Overall, the team performed exceptionally well for their first official Speech and Debate tournament. Taking the majority of the top five of spontaneous argumentation, and securing a spot in the top three of the original oratory, club president and representative Mary Sarukhanyan is proud of her team. Mary commented on the team’s performance and experience going into their first tournament with the TCFL, saying:
“Everyone on the team was really nervous going into it, being our first time and over Zoom too. But we made a splash with our standings and even received comments from the co-president of our circuit. The team is thrilled with what we achieved and we’re preparing to kill it at our next event.”
It’s safe to say the Science Academy community is incredibly proud of how the team did in their tournament, and excitedly awaits the next one!Read More
by Ava-Ray Pributsky, Mariia Grigoreva and Desmond Devine
As we prepare to celebrate the holidays, it’s wonderful to recognize the diversity of winter celebrations: Hanukkah, Advent, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, the New Year, Epiphany/Three Kings Day. So many ways to celebrate and honor traditions and cultures from around the world and through a large expanse of history. Here are a few of the ways some of these holidays are celebrated by our Journalism Club students.
Mariia’s Holiday Traditions:
Very soon, more than 2 billion people will be celebrating Christmas. Some honor it as a religious holiday, while many more will celebrate it even if they are not Christian. Here are my family’s holiday traditions:
In most families in Russia, Christmas is actually celebrated on January 7th, because this is the date considered to be Christmas by Orthodox Christians, who use the Julian calendar, which predates the modern Gregorian calendar. However many families, including mine, combine it with the New Year holiday and celebrate them both on one day, December 31st.
Around 3 weeks before Christmas, we decorate the Christmas tree. We put many candies on the tree as decorations and every day before Christmas, we can eat one. If not all of them are gone, we eat what’s left on New Year’s Eve night.
In my family, we like to change the menu, but there are two common salads that we always eat on New Year and Christmas: “Olivie Salad” and “Herring under a Fur Coat”
Olivie Salad Recipe:
2 medium carrot
1 chicken breast
1 can of peas
5 salted cucumbers
Bake the chicken (30min on 350 degrees), Cook and cut eggs, carrots and potatoes into large dice. After the chicken has cooled somewhat, cut into large chunks. Chop up the rest of the ingredients and mix all together. Add mayo and your perfect salad is ready to eat.
Note: usually served cold, so put in the fridge before you eat it.
While my sister, my mother, and I prepare food, we usually have 2 very old movies playing, which we watch every single year: The Irony of Fate and Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future.
On the 31st of December, while the clock is striking 12 am, the adults make a wish. They write it on paper, burn it into a glass with champagne, and drink. Some just make a wish and drink, but everything has to be done while the clock is striking midnight. That is an important part of the tradition.
After everyone eats, we call all our relatives and give our best wishes for the New Year. Afterwards, we open the presents and listen to Christmas/New Year songs. In my family, we don’t wait until morning and open our presents around 1am.
Ava-Ray’s Holiday Traditions:
Decorate the House:
In my family, we celebrate Hanukkah, but we also put up a winter tree with lights and ornaments. Many of the ornaments are handmade. Each year we make a new ornament to represent the year. What should it be for this year? Maybe a mask or a vaccine syringe?
Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows:
A mashed sweet potato with butter and maple syrup topped with melted marshmallows. This is what my Grandmother and her mother made during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays every year. It reminds me of sitting with my family at the table, being together and eating wonderful food. This dish is very sweet and is often served as dessert in my household. A sweet dish to remind me of sweet memories.
Lighting the Menorah:
Every year in my family, we light the Menorah and say the prayers of Hanukkah. My dad tells the story of how the Jewish people did not have enough oil to light their temple lights because the temple had been raided and ransacked. They found only a small amount of oil in the rubble. They thought it would only last for a day or two, but it lasted 8 full nights. That is the Hanukkah miracle, that there was light during the darkness, during the pain. We have latkes and corned beef sandwiches and then we get our Hanukkah gifts. The holiday is about comfort, good food, and games. We each try and think of our reasons to be thankful and how we have made it to this Hanukkah.
Latkes and Applesauce:
Savory potato pancakes (almost like hash browns) with sweet apple sauce on top. When I was really little, my favorite part of Hanukkah was the latkes. Savory, buttery, potato goodness with sweet applesauce for dinner? Yum! My family would gobble down 3 latkes each at the very least. I would stuff my face with yummy food until I could not eat any more and then sit down on the couch and fall asleep.
Baba’s Latke Recipe:
6 large potatoes, grated
1 large onion, grated
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of pepper
4 tablespoons of oil
Peel the potatoes and onions. Grate potatoes and onions or use a Cuisinart and drain the extra juice. Add eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Heat oil in a large skillet and drop the batter in by spoonful. Fry to a deep brown on both sides. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or vanilla yogurt. Geschmack! (Yiddish for licking the plate goodness!)
Prayer on the first night of Hanukkah: Praised are you, our God, ruler of the universe, who has given us life and sustained us and enabled us to reach this season. I am so thankful to be with my family on this Hanukkah. I know there are many people across the country and around the world, including in my own family, who have not made it to this Hanukkah. I think about them and say a prayer for them.
Have you ever wondered why our calendar is the way it is? Why certain holidays are recognized on specific days? Sure, Christmas was the day Jesus was said to have been born and the 4th of July is the day America declared its independence, but what about the other ones? Is there any deeper reason why holidays are celebrated at a certain time in the year other than “tradition”? Let’s consider the celebration of the New Year and my proposal for a more scientific and seasonally accurate date for the holiday.
Our calendar, along with many other aspects of our culture, stems from Roman civilization. On December 31st, Romans would have a feast and celebrate Janus, the god of new beginnings. He was said to have two faces, one looking to the past and the other towards the future. This evolved into our New Year celebration today, but to be honest it doesn’t make much rational sense and feels a bit arbitrary as a date to start the year. A more practical celebration would be on Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, since this is when our days start to become longer again and the seasonal cycle of Earth resets. Recognizing Winter Solstice as New Year’s Day would give the holiday an astronomical purpose and might make us more mindful towards the cyclical nature of our solar system.
[Roman God Janus]
Whichever holidays you and your family celebrate and however you celebrate them, we are all so happy for our health, our family’s health, making it through the 2020 Fall semester of The Science Academy, and the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines. We wish good health and happiness to all, and look forward to a very happy, hopeful, and healthy New Year!Read More
By Barrie Komsky
December 15, 2020
On October 27, the Los Angeles Dodgers erased decades of frustration and disappointment by winning the World Series for the first time since 1988. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in the sixth game of the World Series to bring Los Angeles their second championship of the month. As the great Dodgers announcer Vin Scully once said, “In a year so improbable, the impossible has happened.”
The 2020 baseball season was unlike any other. For the first time in baseball history, the World Series was played at a neutral site, the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field, which the Dodgers made their home. It was played in a bubble with only 11,500 fans in attendance each game. Teams played only 60 games, rather than the typical 162. But the Dodgers rose above these challenges and did what nobody thought was possible: going the distance after years of falling short.
The team could not have come so far without the help of Clayton Kershaw, who has been a staple of the Dodgers organization since 2008. He had every honor and achievement in baseball aside from a World Series ring. He took home the National League Cy Young Award in 2011, 2013, and 2014, when he also was named Most Valuable Player. On June 18 of that year, he pitched his first career no-hitter, arguably the greatest in baseball history. He has constantly dazzled in the regular season, but quickly became known as a “playoff choker,” showing barely average statistics in the month of October. This year, Clayton Kershaw changed his legacy forever. There are no more missing pieces for the future Hall of Famer. His 4-1 record combined with a 2.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts, all career highs for the 32-year-old ace, gave him all he’s truly wanted: a championship for his team. “We won the World Series. I don’t care about legacy. I don’t care about what happened last year. I don’t care about what people think…The 2020 Dodgers won the World Series. Who cares about all that other stuff?” the veteran ace told Bill Plunkett when asked how he felt about his success.
Perhaps the only Dodger with a more impressive postseason than Kershaw was Corey Seager, whose eight postseason home runs and .328 batting average led to being named MVP of both the World Series and NLCS, a nail-biting seven game series against the Atlanta Braves. Seager was only the eighth player in the history of Major League Baseball to bring home both awards. “This team was incredible all throughout the year, all throughout the postseason,” Seager, known for his modesty, stated. “We never stopped. We were ready to go as soon as the bell was called. And once it did, we kept rolling.” He drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning of the game, after Rays’ manager Kevin Cash controversially removed Blake Snell, who, through 5.1 innings, struck out 9 and allowed only two hits, one of which resulted in a run, from the game.
Both Kershaw and Seager dazzled throughout the regular season as well, but no impact was greater than that of Mookie Betts, who was traded from the Red Sox in February. In 55 games, Betts accumulated 16 home runs, 39 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, and a .292 batting average. Betts won the National League’s Gold Glove Award for his position of right field for the fifth consecutive year. He became a finalist for MVP, along with the Braves’ Freddie Freeman, the eventual winner, and the Padres’ Manny Machado. Betts took home the award in 2018 with Boston, when his team beat the Dodgers in the World Series. In the postseason, Betts batted .296 with 8 doubles, 6 stolen bases, and an eighth-inning home run in game 6 to extend the lead. He also scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, taking advantage of the Rays’ decision to remove Blake Snell from the game. “I think at that point, I was like, ‘I got a chance,’” Betts said of the situation following the win. “Snell was rolling… I wasn’t asking any questions, though. I was just like, ‘Hey, your manager said you gotta go, next guy’s coming in.’ At that point, I tried to put an at-bat together and go from there.” In addition to his brilliance on offense, Mookie Betts made an impact larger than any other on the field, making seemingly impossible plays nightly.
Many will compare Betts’ remarkable first season as a Dodger to that of Kirk Gibson in 1988. After a successful career with the Detroit Tigers and a World Series win in 1984, Gibson, a free agent, signed with Los Angeles. The team, against all odds, found themselves in the World Series, set to play the powerful Oakland A’s. Kirk Gibson, having injured both legs in the previous series, was set to sit this one out. In Game 1, the Dodgers found themselves down 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. Dennis Eckersley had just walked Mike Davis when Kirk Gibson, barely able to walk, hobbled up to the plate, hoping for a miracle. When the count reached 2-2, Mike Davis stole second base, knowing that Gibson would be unable to run. On the very next pitch, Gibson launched his legendary home run to right field, giving the Dodgers the Game 1 win. The Dodgers would go on to win the series in five games. This year’s Dodgers, just like the 1988 team, didn’t have an easy path to success.
The team won a seven-game battle to make a World Series appearance, beating the Atlanta Braves after losing the first two games and three of the first four, something that had not occurred since 2004. Games 5, 6, and 7 games included a Will Smith home run off of Will Smith that gave the Dodgers a lead and more defensive heroics from Mookie Betts and the rest of the Dodgers’ outfield. In a nail-biter game seven, Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and extended it with a Dansby Swanson home run in the second. In the third inning, a Will Smith single tied the score at 2, but Austin Riley’s RBI single in the fourth gave the Braves a 3-2 lead. Freedie Freeman would have hit a home run in the fifth inning if not for Mookie Betts. Then, Kike Hernandez hit a game-tying home run in the sixth inning, and Cody Bellinger put them in front in the seventh, a lead Los Angeles held on to thanks to three perfect innings from Julio Urias. “We’re resilient,” said Bellinger of the win. “I think when you see every day the lineup we have—we can do this. Why can’t we do this? We’ve won three games before, all the time.”
The win did not come without controversy, as Justin Turner, who’s pregame COVID test came back inconclusive, was pulled from the game in the 8th inning when a positive result was received. When the game ended, Turner and his wife Kourtney made their way to the field, unmasked, and were seen hugging teammates. Turner even participated in taking a team photo and holding the trophy. Following the celebration, Turner tweeted the following: “Thanks to everyone reaching out! I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of L.A.” After careful consideration, the league agreed that Turner should not be punished for his actions, as the bubble they created was unsafe. Turner released an apology which called his actions inexcusable, claiming to have been caught up in the moment.
Despite the controversy and excuses by other fans, however, the Dodgers used their talents and nothing else to win their first World Series since 1988, and that’s all that will be remembered years from now. Congratulations to the 2020 World Series Champions Los Angeles Dodgers!Read More
by Hayley Yoon
Every year, on the 10th of December, we celebrate the rights of all humans, no matter their race, religion, color, gender, language, or political opinion. On this day, back in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), after the end of World War II. This document proclaimed the permanent rights that every human on the Earth was entitled to. The UDHR is the most translated document in the world, and it is available in over 500 languages. It is composed of a preamble and 30 articles, which cover the 30 universal rights and freedoms of all humans. An illustrated version of the UDHR is available here.
Unfortunately, many people in different countries of the world are suffering from their rights being neglected. Article 04 of the UDHR states that “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” However, it is estimated that about 40 million people are imprisoned in modern slavery, a quarter of which are children. The most common forms of modern slavery include human trafficking, debt bondage labor, forced labor, and child labor. Several organizations are currently working together to free people suffering from their stolen rights.
Human Rights Day is a perfect day to celebrate and take part in protecting our rights. There are several ways to celebrate this day, even at school or at home!
- One way is simply to spread awareness. Many people don’t know about some of their rights, or that their rights are being neglected. By writing an article in the school newspaper, posting a short message on social media, or educating your friends about their rights, you can spread awareness about this basic, yet essential topic.
- Pass a resolution, whether it be for school, a club, or just your household. You can also use this opportunity to educate your fellow students on Human Rights Day.
- Donate to a Human Rights charity! These organizations work together to protect and fight for the rights of humans. Some well known ones are Human Rights First (HRF), Human Rights Watch (HRW), or Amnesty International.
Sources UsedRead More
by Milan Riley
Options for LAUSD Learning Models under COVID-19:
It’s been about 8 months since Los Angeles Unified schools shut down in-person instruction because of COVID-19, and currently, the effects of the Coronavirus are still on-going. One effect is state guidelines that say schools cannot reopen at this time due to the risk of infection. Even though most officials believe no change can occur to this policy until after the winter flu season, they are still preparing for what’s to come once schools begin to re-open, especially in light of the upcoming vaccines. Therefore, LAUSD has come up with two learning models that will be put to use once it is safe enough to return to some in-person instruction days on campus. The Hybrid model is one of the systems LAUSD has prepared that allows students to have some in-person instruction days amongst some fully remote instruction days. The other system is the Online Only model, which allows students to keep on receiving fully remote instruction for school like they are now. Recently, LAUSD and the individual schools have sent out information about these two models and are allowing families to choose which model they would rather participate in once it is safe for schools to reopen.
If experiencing the Hybrid Model, students will have in-person instruction some days with a fewer number of fellow students then there used to be on campus before Covid-19. Students will also have some fully remote instruction days within the 5 days a week of school. The same group of students will learn together each in-person instruction day, and students will stay in the same classroom for each class. Daily meals will continue to be provided for families. What times students are on campus is determined by their grade; families can choose to switch from Hybrid learning to Online Only learning anytime throughout the year.
Online Only Model:
Online Only learning would have students remain in remote learning classes, giving students a mix of live teaching through technology and independent time to work. Families experiencing Online Only teaching will still have access to provided daily meals through Grab & Go by the school. Students can only switch from Online Only to Hybrid at designated points throughout the school’s schedule, which has not been determined yet.
For elementary school, students may be introduced to “Virtual Academy” and taught by teachers by neighboring schools alongside students from that school. This might be necessary based on how many families choose to learn virtually. However, LAUSD will try their best to keep students with their current teachers.
LAUSD has made guidelines of the many safety precautions each school will have to follow. One safety precaution is that the District is releasing a digital application called the Daily Pass. It is a required daily health check-in for anyone entering a campus or office. The health check monitors safe behaviors, physical wellness, and potential exposure to the Coronavirus. If someone can’t get the digital version, health checks are also available at schools or office entrances. Individuals who successfully complete the health check can get a Daily Pass to enter schools and offices.
Another safety precaution is the saliva tests and nasal swabs that will be used to test individuals for Covid-19 at certain times throughout the year; in addition, you will be able to make appointments for this online. All tests are free and show results within 10 minutes. These results will be strictly confidential. All schools will have temperature checks, physical distancing, constant disinfecting, and upgraded ventilation systems as safety precautions as well.
LAUSD has also kept programs for gifted/talented students, students with disabilities, early education students, and students learning English or standard English included with the new learning systems. Not only that, but transportation services to school will be available to Hybrid learning students if they apply for that on the form.
If a student needs extended supervision when not receiving in-person instruction, options will be available for that on campus as well.
LAUSD can be contacted by anyone with questions or concerns via LAUSD’s Helpdesk Hotline at (213) 443-1300. In addition, parents, guardians and students can contact their school for additional support or guidance. For more information on LAUSD’s Covid-19 testing program, you can visit https://achieve.lausd.net/covidtesting.
Each family is responsible for choosing which model they want their student to be in by filling out a form, they can complete their form at https://reopening.lausd.net/familyselection or fill out a hard copy that is requestable at their school. This form gives brief information on the future learning system, and has multiple sections asking questions or giving additional information. Some sections are transportation, resources, satisfaction, communication and support, but there are many more questions/sections as well.
One thing essential for completing this form is the student’s ID, though that has proven to be quite challenging to find sometimes. Therefore, families can see their student’s ID in Parent Portal (https://parentportalapp.lausd.net/parentaccess) if they are registered, or ask for this information from their school. Families may also call the Helpdesk hotline at (213) 443 – 1300 to find this information.
Families can look at all the information about the new learning system on the family guide at https://reopening.lausd.net/familyguide to decide which learning model they want, which will also be mailed as a printed copy to everyone. This form is available in multiple languages and is due by December 6th, 2020; if no form is filled out for a student, they will automatically be placed in the Hybrid learning model. In the form it is noted to families that things may also change in the future. Here’s a example of the beginning of the survey:
by Sophia Mdinaradze, Milan Riley, and Ava-Ray Pributsky
A presidential election in the United States is a democratic process held every four years in which all U.S citizens age 18 and older vote on the nominees for president, as well as a selection of each state’s Congressional representatives. The first election was held on Monday, December 15, 1788, and the most recent one was on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
There have been 45 presidencies in total, and this is the 59th presidential election. Even when this election is over, the victor won’t officially become president until January 20, 2021, when the current President Trump’s term finishes. For now, Joe Biden will be President-elect until he is sworn in at his inauguration.
Before the voting began, each candidate attended several debates to explain their platforms and campaign points to the public. Let’s take a look at the candidates who ran for president or vice president.
The Presidential & Vice Presidential Candidates:
There were 4 presidential nominees, along with their 4 vice presidential running mates. There were originally many more candidates throughout the primary process, though lots of them dropped out of the race earlier on: 27 Democrats and 3 Republicans in all. Here is a list of each major party’s final nominees, including their running mates and political party.
The rules for the presidential election are different than other types of elections. For example, a student body election occurred recently at the Science Academy in which we voted for the ASB President, Vice President, Historian, Secretary, Treasurer, and Representatives. The candidates with the most votes won. However, the U.S. presidential election is run very differently. Our election uses something called the Electoral College. To be honest, it’s a pretty confusing and complicated process so here’s a basic explanation to understand what takes place:
The electoral college consists of 538 electors who formally vote for the president of the United States. Each state has a specific number of electoral votes based on their population and the number of Representatives in the House plus two Senators. A candidate must receive at least 270 electoral votes to win the election, and in general, a state’s electors are chosen based on who received the most votes in that state. However, it is possible that candidates can win the popular vote but lose the election if they don’t reach 270. For example, in 2000 Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote in the election, but Republican George Bush won the electoral vote.
When everyone in a state has voted, the candidate that receives the majority of votes receives that state’s electoral votes in a winner-take-all result, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, who allocate electoral votes via districts. The Electoral College meets in December to cast the votes determined by their constituents. Here is an illustration of each state’s electoral votes:
Each state determines the process and method for voting, usually administered by their Secretary of State. Some states use paper ballots while others have voting machines. Some states, like Oregon and Colorado, have gone to 100% mail-in balloting.
Even though a lot of states vote differently, before Covid-19, most citizens voted at their nearest voting location in person on Election Day. However, citizens who could not go in person this year due to the pandemic could apply for an absentee ballot in many states, which is a ballot sent and returned by mail. For the 2020 general election, as a response to Covid-19, every registered voter was sent a ballot by mail in some states such as California. Once finished with the ballot, citizens either mailed them back or dropped them off in a drop box or at a voting poll location. Some states had early voting, while others only allowed voting in person on Election Day.
Since the pandemic encouraged many more people to vote by mail as a safety precaution, it was very important for citizens to turn in their ballots early on to ensure all the votes could be received in time to be counted. This year, 65,487,735 people voted by mail while only about 33,000,000 people voted by mail in 2016.
The unprecedented number of mail-in ballots made the election a bit more complicated this year. Different states had different deadlines for receiving the ballots, as well as differing rules as to exactly when the ballots could be processed so it was impossible to predict how a state would vote until a long time after the polls closed on Nov. 3rd.
The polls started to close in the East first, since it is ahead by three hours there. Around eight P.M, November 3rd, polls started to close in many western states, too. By this time, news channels already began projecting electoral votes based on states’ voting history and which candidate they were currently leaning towards.
There were several swing states that couldn’t easily be put in the blue (Democrat) or red (Republican) columns. These included Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona. Fairly early in the night, it was announced that President Trump had gained Florida’s 29 electoral votes and Ohio’s 18 votes. Adding these to the states already called, Trump took an early lead. The counting continued for several days as the nation awaited the results. Minnesota and Michigan were called for Biden, while Texas and South Carolina were called for Trump. In fact, one state, Georgia, was projected by several outlets to have gone for the Republican, but as the count continued, it had to be uncalled and later was called for the Democrat. Once Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were called for Biden, Joe Biden was named President-elect and Kamala Harris was named Vice President-elect. Votes are still being counted, especially in large population states like California and New York, and President Trump is currently contesting the election procedures in certain states in court, but most observers do not expect the results to be changed.
After Biden got the electoral college votes from Wisconsin and Michigan, he only needed to win 6 more electoral votes from a state to obtain the next presidency. On the morning of Saturday, November 7th, Biden had taken the lead in Pennsylvania. Since the count there had almost finished, Biden was projected to be the 46th President of the United States.
[Image from 11-07-2020 at 8:37 AM]
With all these state’s electoral votes, Biden had 284 electoral votes to Trump’s 214. Exceeding the amount of votes necessary for winning, which was only 270. This made Biden the official President-elect. Ultimately, after the count was finished in Nevada, Georgia, and North Carolina, Joe Biden received 290 electoral votes and Donald Trump received 232.
- Wisconsin, red to blue
- Michigan, red to blue
- Pennsylvania, red to blue.
- Georgia, red to blue
- Arizona, red to blue
- Nevada, blue
- Colorado, blue
- Texas, red
- Iowa, red
- Minnesota, blue
- Wisconsin, blue
- Michigan, blue
- Ohio, red
- Florida, red
- Pennsylvania, blue
- Virginia, blue
- New Hampshire, blue
The President-elect & Vice President- elect Address the Nation:
When Biden was projected to be the winner on Saturday, November 7th, he and Kamala Harris gave an address to the public in Delaware. Biden said that it was “time to heal America” and stated, “I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.”
The Vice President-elect said, “While I may be the first woman in my office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is the country of possibilities.” When becoming Vice President-elect, Harris broke several racial and gender barriers, inspiring many people: she is the first woman, the first person of African descent, the first person of East Asian descent, and the first child of immigrants to ascend to the office of Vice President.
The Associated Press:
The Washington Post:
270 to Win: