2020 election, opportunities for engagement - Nov. 4, 2020

To Students, Faculty and Staff:

All of us continue to closely follow the vote count in this pivotal election. It is indeed a very close vote with final results that may not be known until the election is certified in each state across the country. It is important to note that it is not at all unusual for a vote count to stretch for several days after an election, particularly with the record number of absentee and mail-in ballots that were filed this year. We must be patient with the democratic process. All told, it is expected that once all votes are counted, more Americans will have voted for President in 2020 than at any other time in the nation’s history. 

As we seek to learn more about the election, the vote count, the results and next steps, I encourage you to continue following the nation’s news media outlets. Eastern’s National Public Radio station, WEMU-FM, is always a good source for fair and balanced reporting of national and local news. Additionally, there are other opportunities for our community to learn more and participate directly in asking questions about the process. 

For example, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is hosting a post-election wrap-up, via Zoom, starting at 8 p.m. this evening. You can participate by registering on the event weblink.

Also, tomorrow evening, Eastern Michigan University faculty members will host “What Now? A conversation with EMU professors on the aftermath of the 2020 election.”

The event notice states: “Are you anxious about the current complicated election process and its implications? Wondering how to process what is going on? Faculty experts in politics, social statistics, history, psychology, women and gender studies, and African American studies will be on hand to answer your questions about what is happening, what all of this means, and what steps you can take going forward.”

Additionally, tomorrow’s edition of EMU Today will feature insight on the election from a variety of Eastern’s highly respected professors who offer perspectives on this year’s Presidential election and campaign. Faculty members to be featured include Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein, Dr. Beth Henschen, Dr. Barbara Patrick, Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon, and Dr. Edward Sidlow. 

We also understand this remains a time of great emotional stress. Students who would like to speak with someone can contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS offers free and confidential counseling by calling 734-487-1118 during business hours and after-hours in the evenings and weekends. For additional information, visit the CAPS website or contact the office by email at [email protected].

I know that if you are anything like me, you remain immersed in every detail emerging from the election, the counting of the votes, and the impact on the Electoral College. It is clear that no matter the outcome, much work is necessary to bring this nation back together. At Eastern, we are committed to being part of that process through teaching, learning, discussing, exploring – and sessions such as the faculty conversation noted above. 

I ask that we all be patient as this process unfolds. 


James M. Smith, Ph.D.