Visualizing the vote: 2020 edition

Absentee voting information.

Credit: Adobe Stock/Lost_in_the_Midwest

By RF Jurjevics

Posted on 10-07-2020

As with most everything right now, a huge part of American life has moved from “in real life” to online only (or, almost), including politics. Both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions were heavily virtual events this year, each featuring a cast of guest speakers who addressed attendees right from their own homes.

Similarly, the biggest American political event of 2020 – the presidential election – will not be a predominantly in-person affair as it has been in the past. Instead, Americans have (for the most part) been directed to cast their votes via U.S. Postal Service, which is already delivering mail-in ballots to registered voters across the country.

Vote here sign with an arrow.

Credit: Adobe Stock / Cavan Social

Not everyone will get to vote by mail, however. To date, five states – Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas – require voters to cite reasons other than COVID-19 concerns in order to receive a mail-in ballot (though this is subject to change). As a result, some voters will have to brave the polling lines - with masks on.

This change in format (and forum, and location) of the 2020 election means that each part of the process is going to look different, too. How different? Consider the current news coverage. As with every election, both progress and process are being meticulously tracked by the news media, with data refreshes as new information comes in. However, a few new elements have been added to election 2020 overviews, most notably the expanded system of mail-in ballots. The New York Times is currently tracking the percentage of absentee voters with a running tally of how many mail-in ballots have been requested and sent (based on state requirements and voter need).

But what does this mean for creatives?

A major election usually generates similar visuals, no matter the year: busy polling places; voters waiting in line; ‘I Voted’ stickers proudly displayed, and so on. For the 2020 election, all of that still stands, but with the addition of masks, hand sanitizing stations, social distancing, and people opting to mail in their ballots rather than vote in person.

Animation of a rally.

Credit: Adobe Stock /Panfilia

There are also other visual aspects to consider when planning out your 2020 election content, no matter the medium. Consider these facts:

US postal worker.

Credit: Adobe Stock / Kyle Monk/Blend Images

For more inspiration, check out Adobe Stock’s curated Gallery, “Get Out the Vote”.

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