Scenes from polling places on Election Day 2020
While the election results for 2020 remain in limbo, the experience of voting in the metro on Nov. 3 remains an event cauterized in history. The Pitch photographer Jim Nimmo bounced around town for the entire day, and captured little moments of our humanity on display.
Election Day 2020 began early on an unusually warm fall morning before dawn in KC. The sunrise over Arrowhead Stadium was beautiful complete with shooting stars going over the stadium as the sun rose.
I love Election Days. They are always full of hope for the future and 2020’s Election Day seemed full of promise.Forget that the city’s hospitals were filling with new Covid-19 patients, forget the many small businesses that have closed, forget the racial strife that has been a constant in KC since the beginning of the summer. The future awaits. We are Americans and we will overcome!
So I started my photographic journey of the metro at Arrowhead where the Chief’s organization and Patrick Mahomes Charitable Foundation had purchased new voting machines to turn the stadium into a community polling center. Coach Andy Reid was one of the first voters and I arrived just as KC Mayor Quinton Lucas had finished voting. There were many people there. Some came because their normal polling place had been closed due to COVID-19. Some came because the lines were too long at their original polling location and some came just to vote at Arrowhead. (That’s why I went!)
There was a band, cheerleaders and free food. KC Wolf walked the grounds photobombing voters and candidates alike. The charitable relief organization World Central Kitchen had teamed up with local food trucks to make sure that no voter left hungry. Later in the day, Alicia Canady (Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor) held a tailgate party.
At the Urban Youth Academy in the 18th & Vine District, first-time voters were in abundance, proudly displaying their “I Voted” stickers. It was great to watch.
A trip through the Plaza showed shops boarding windows to prepare for riots that didn’t happen. Police and local church leaders met at JC Nichols Park to pray for peace and understanding on the site of the first protests of the summer.
The non-partisan Election Protection organization had observers at many of the poll locations to keep watch and make sure no one with any agenda tried to harass voters. Poll workers brought ballots outside the building to make sure that even those people who were quarantined with Covid could vote from their car.
So many people had voted early that most polling locations were quick and easy trips. No standing for hours like in 2008.
There had been so many fears about what might happen on this day. So many emotions had run so high. Yet, it seemed calm and almost hopeful. America at it’s finest.
Then. The rest of this.
As we watch our current leadership flounder, lie, and strike out against the very foundations of democracy, we have no choice but to wait. All of yesterday’s promise remains, but its impact remains under a shroud of threats. Rather than dig in on that fear, let’s celebrate all of the good that came from a city doing its best in the worst of days.