After the polls close this evening and election results start to pour in, the biggest threat to your faith in democracy may be the constant clicking on your browser’s refresh button.
Election Day in America has never been more transparent, as real-time data is loaded into reporting systems, transmitted on news organizations’ internal distribution channels, and published online. Those results, however, have never been more prone to garbage interpretation in amateur hands. Don't believe me? Just look at all the armchair analyses two years ago, starting with then-President Donald Trump's own misguided—and likely disingenuous—reading of the early numbers that suggested a landslide in his favor. As more ballots were counted, his lead eroded, becoming the basis of the Big Lie.
Which is why, in reality, Election Day is more like Election Week. And that’s actually good for democracy.
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