Coldplay’s frontman and Global Citizen Festival Curator Chris Martin urged news outlets to wait to call the US presidential election until all ballots have been counted in a live video on Instagram on Wednesday as part of Global Citizen’s latest campaign.
Martin’s unusual request stems from the unprecedented nature of the upcoming election. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, mail-in ballot requests have broken records as people try to social distance. The tallying of these ballots could go on for days and even weeks beyond Nov. 3. As a result, election experts warn that it could take longer than usual to definitively determine the winner.
If news outlets prematurely declare a winner who ultimately ends up losing, then the entire election could be thrown into uncertainty and confusion. Committing to announcing the winner only once all the votes have been counted can help to preserve the integrity of the election, while also ensuring stability throughout the country.
“On globalcitizen.org today, we launched a petition asking news organizations to not call the election until all the votes are counted,” Martin said during the livestream. “Every vote counts — so count every vote.”
The virtual concert featured Coldplay performing in a dim room surrounded by red and blue glowing lights. They played “Magic,” “Charlie Brown,” “Yellow,” “Trouble in Town,” “Adventure of a Lifetime,” and “Everything’s Not Lost.”
Throughout the set, Martin urged his fans around the world to play a greater role in civic life and to stand up for one another.
“Don’t forget to tell people you love them, to not give up, to remember you have just as much of a voice as everyone else,” Martin said. “We’re all here equally, and if you’re in America, and you’re a newsperson, please wait until all the votes have been counted.”
The “Together At Home” campaign was launched to provide entertainment and solidarity to those self-isolating at home. The series sought to raise awareness of and financial support for the organizations and workers on the front lines of coronavirus relief efforts and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
These livestreamed events culminated in One World: Together At Homeon April 19, a digital and broadcast event that featured some of music’s biggest stars and greatest legends, including Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, the Rolling Stones, and Sir Paul McCartney.
Martin’s return to the livestream format is in some ways connected to the “Together At Home” series. The US is the biggest foreign aid donor in the world. The outcome of the election has repercussions for all countries, and a wrongly called election could have negative consequences globally, potentially disrupting the effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
News outlets usually rely on exit polls, sample precincts, and models based on actual results to call elections, but with fewer people voting in person, this information may be limited. Counting mail-in ballots is a time-consuming process, and as result, it’s unlikely that there will be accurate data on election night, unlike past elections.
If news outlets call a winner too soon, it could cast doubt on the election and spark confusion, fear, and anger amongst an already divided public.
That’s why Global Citizens are sending letters and signing petitions to ensure the outcome of the election is safe and sound.
Go here to take action now.