Not all livestreams are on YouTube. A number of municipalities have opted for dwelling surveillance cameras; Arizona’s hotly watched Maricopa County makes use of Google’s Nest to regulate the counting (you possibly can watch here). Washington’s King County put in cameras not too completely different from retailer surveillance tools (you possibly can watch here). And Union County in New Jersey makes use of the Angelcam app, a cloud surveillance software (you possibly can watch here).
Arizona is a peek into the way forward for livestreaming vote counts. In 2019, Arizona’s state legislature handed a law that required election officers to “present for a stay video recording of the custody of all ballots whereas the ballots are current in a tabulation room within the counting heart.”
Panda cam, this isn’t. Whereas zoo livestreams have gained reputation as calming, escapist home windows of cuteness, there are larger stakes right here. Certain, watching election officers sift by way of and kind ballots may be some individuals’s definition of “soothing,” however the goal—being clear and making certain the validity and accuracy of election outcomes—could be very completely different, and maybe extra nail-biting than comforting for viewers.
Why is it essential? Vote tabulation was not often thought-about one thing the general public needed to see, however throughout this yr’s contentious election, voters and politicos alike fear about fraud to the extent that the authenticity of each vote and counting course of is below scrutiny. (It bears repeating: research have repeatedly shown that voter fraud is almost nonexistent.) Election officers are hoping that these livestreams will guarantee voter confidence and counter any fraud allegations.
Philadelphia is floor zero for vote livestreaming: In late October, the Trump marketing campaign was proven to be partaking in voter intimidation within the metropolis by videotaping voters as they dropped off their ballots at designated facilities. Trump exacerbated the state of affairs by suggesting that “bad things happen” in Philadelphia. The stakes had been upped final Wednesday, when the Supreme Court docket ruled that mail-in ballots would depend as long as they had been postmarked by Election Day, even when they arrived later. Philadelphia’s position in what’s arguably probably the most contested state within the nation is big: the town leans Democrat and will push the state’s electoral votes towards Biden. It’s no shock, then, that Philadelphia grew to become the main target of intense scrutiny.
The Workplace of Philadelphia’s Metropolis Commissioners went on the offense on Tuesday night: