Encyclopaedia Britannica Announces the Electoral College as 2020 Story of the Year

Chicago, Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Encyclopaedia Britannica, purveyors of trusted knowledge for over 250 years , has announced its Story of the Year for 2020 along with a roundup of top stories and events that impacted the world. The selection is entirely data-driven and is based on the volume of article views on Britannica.com along with a significant increase in views over the previous year or, in the case of this year’s story, the previous presidential election cycle.  Britannica’s Story of the Year for 2020 is the electoral college. [1]

The electoral college has historically been a hot topic during presidential elections, and this year was no exception.  With controversy and greater scrutiny around various state electoral college votes, views for the United States Electoral College Votes by State[2] spiked significantly on November 2, the day before Election Day in America. Interest remained high over the next several days, increasing 31,468% over searches from the 2016 election. As readers looked for more clarity, the article Electoral College[3] increased 16,546% and How Does the Electoral College Work[4]? saw an uptick of 4,568% from the last election.

“The electoral votes were the key to understanding who would win the election—the most important election of our times, as many called it—and they’re part of a complicated historical institution that can be difficult to understand,” says Erik Gregersen, Senior Editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica. “We’re glad that our content could make it all easier to grasp and give our American readers a better sense of how their own votes count and what role they were playing in determining their country’s future.”

Readers also signaled an interest in learning more about the key figures in this year’s election. On November 7, the day President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gave their victory speeches, the biography of Kamala Harris[5] saw the greatest one-day article views of any single biography on Britannica.com for the year and was the most popular for any living individual in all of 2020.

Many other stories captivated the world and stood out in the data for 2020. Britannica’s Year in Review sheds light on stories that sent people in droves to Britannica.com for a closer look at the facts behind events and issues shaping the year. In the weeks following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the subsequent unrest in the city, readers immersed themselves in learning more  about the history of police brutality in the United States and protests from years before, including the Los Angeles riots of 1992[6], with a 23,763% increase, and the Harlem race riot[7] of 1935, with a spike of 37,500%.

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