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

WASHINGTON, DC — As vote counting continues and the nation waits for the final results of elections up and down the ballot — including the presidential election — 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. Over 101.1 million people voted early in-person and by mail this year to help protect themselves and others against the threat of COVID-19; many of those votes still need to be counted.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“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 call for change is 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, and they will be. This counting is going to take some time, and that is okay, because every vote counts. That is how we know that our system is working. 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. Seventy-seven percent 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 people this year. And while we don’t yet know the results of many elections, we do know the pro-reproductive health majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is here to stay. 

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. 


Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.


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