Election outcomes discussed


Desteny MaraghReporter

Director of Student Conduct and Civic Responsibility Chris Piscitelli hosted a live discussion about what students should expect after casting their votes in this upcoming presidential election.

Jonathan Wharton, a political science professor, said electoral college heads will meet on Dec. 14 to make their decision.

The electoral college is made up of party officials, donors, and state leaders and next month when they meet, they make the official decision.

The electoral college is here to “help balance out the small state, big state dynamics. That’s why the founding fathers created it,” said Wharton.

This discussion was held on Facebook Live at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, election day.

Piscitelli had Wharton and political science Department Chair Kevin Buterbaugh answer the question “what happens next.”

The Office of Student Conduct and Civic Responsibility, along the Office of Orientation, Transition & Family Engagement and the SAGE Center collaborated to put the event together.

“Groups of people who are afraid of each other, so everyone went to the polls trying to protect themselves from the opposing party,” said Buterbaugh.

He and Wharton have opposite views on what is to come for America after the election.

“This is a very close election,” said Buterbaugh. “One of my first impressions of the election was worry, especially with places around the country boarding up storefronts and apartment buildings in urban areas. We might have a real violent protest, but we haven’t got any information of anything like that transpiring.”

Buterbaugh said if Trump does manage to win again, this will be the third time a minority wining candidate has won in this century.

He said this will create potential legitimate problems for the United States government, which can lead to bumps down the road.

“I think we are in for some very rough weeks ahead and potentially you might see violence across the country because the majority did not get what they wanted,” said Buterbaugh.

Wharton, who disagreed with the theory, said “I have a sense that the system played out, the process worked, and this is the way it operates.”

“I think there are a lot of lessons to learn, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world or people will start rioting,” said Wharton.

Wharton said this is a good dose of reality for both parties when it comes to learning ways to deal with issues on election disagreements.

Looking towards the immediate future, Buterbaugh said, “were going to see a resolution quite quickly, states like Georgia and North Carolina, will either add to the margin of victory for Biden or they’ll give the margin of victory to Trump.”

Wharton said he predicts lawsuits, junctions and re-counts soon.

“Even if a decision can be made by Friday, I think the controversy will still continue on,” said Wharton.

Differing from Wharton’s opinion, Buterbaugh said, “If Biden wins the electoral college, the were not going to see about of push back in lawsuits from Trump.”

Buterbaugh said the popular vote is essentially affirming and ratifying what the electoral college thinks.

Speaking on voter turnout, Buterbaugh said he thinks it is a process of polarization.

Photo credit: Desteny Maragh

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