The unprecedented White House race

Rachel Kleinfeld paints a worrying picture for the impending presidential poll as democracy in the US shows signs of warping under increasing pressures

The World Today Published 5 October 2020 Updated 26 October 2020 5 minute READ

Rachel Kleinfeld

Senior Fellow with the Democracy, Conflict and Governance Programme, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The president’s son calls for an ‘army’ of 50,000 to ensure ballot security at the polls. Armed militias take to the streets and white supremacist gangs stand by to intervene, while drivers – 69 since the beginning of the summer– plough into peaceful crowds gathered to demand racial justice. This is the United States on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.
With an unprecedented number of absentee ballots expected to be cast, key states unprepared to handle the influx, a post office accused of political machinations and misinformation rife, polls suggest that many Americans will not view the outcome as legitimate, whoever wins.

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