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2020 election took place under unprecedented circumstances, this delay was expected

CALIFORNIA — As vote counting continues and the nation waits for final results of elections up and down the ballot, our democracy is functioning as intended. This election took place under unprecedented circumstances, and experts expected a delay like this. People faced daunting situations as they went to cast their votes — and yet they sent their ballots in by mail and showed up early in-person in record numbers, including in California. Heading into the election, there were more people registered to vote in California—over 22 million—than the entire population of Florida. 

The day after the election, the nation has seen over 101.1 million people vote early in-person and by mail this year to help protect themselves and others against the threat of COVID-19. It remains that many of those votes still need to be counted.

Statement from Jodi Hicks, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California:

“We are facing the greatest threat to our rights, our reproductive freedom, and our access to health care in a generation. As people cast their ballots, the demand for change was clear and powerful. Workers are demanding they be treated as essential every day. Young people are the emerging majority calling for progress. Black people and people of color are demanding revolutionary change — today. And women know we decide elections. All of our voices must be heard, in California and across the nation, and they will be. Every vote counts, and we will count every vote. This counting is going to take some time, and that is ok, because every vote counts. No matter what lies ahead, we will be here fighting for Planned Parenthood patients and all people. We always have and we always will.”

Even as this counting continues, it’s already clear sexual and reproductive health and rights were important in this election. The current administration — and their allies in Congress and in governor’s mansions and state houses across the country — are out of step with the American people’s values. 77% of Americans don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, 70% of Americans favor ending the global gag rule, and nearly nine in 10 women will use birth control in their lifetimes. Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations made sure voters knew what was at stake by contacting more than 5 million peoplethis year. In California, Planned Parenthood organizations reached thousands of voters through phone and text banks, virtual events, and online to deliver information on voting and what is at stake this election. Additionally, more than 400 local, state and federal candidates were endorsed by Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations in California.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights move people to action. Election results in 2018 and 2019 showed that voters are tired of fear-mongering and misleading rhetoric about abortion and other essential care. Restrictions and attacks on sexual and reproductive health care from the Trump administration and its political allies over the last four years have hit Black communities and other communities of color hardest, because of historic and continued underinvestment in access to affordable care.

Sadly, even before the pandemic, some politicians — in an effort to keep the systems of white supremacy in place — used voter suppression tactics to restrict access to the ballot for people of color, particularly Black people, who overwhelmingly support access to reproductive health care. Because of the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 and these continued voter suppression efforts, it will take extra time to count and process every vote safely during the pandemic. And while we can and should wait for these results, it’s clear our country cannot wait another moment for racial justice.

 

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Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education.

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