The World and Everything in It — November 3, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

It’s election day. We’ll hear what to watch for and how people abroad think about the American election.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Plus our Classic Book of the Month on Christian leadership.

And your prayers for our nation.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, November 3rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Time for the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Voters head to polls across America » It is Election Day across America. Millions of voters are heading to the polls this morning. 

Nearly 100 million voters have already cast their ballots, shattering records for early voting. 

But to those who have not yet voted, the candidates made their final appeals on Monday. 

TRUMP: Tomorrow you have the power to do so much for our country. You have the power to vote. So go out and vote! 

President Trump stumping in Fayetteville, North Carolina while Democratic rival Joe Biden campaigned just north of Pittsburgh. 

BIDEN: It’s time to stand up! Take back this democracy, we can do this!

Biden will spend election night at his home in Delaware. 

And President Trump will watch election returns from the White House.  

But all the votes won’t be counted today. Some states will still be counting mail-in ballots as late as Friday. That means the presidential election and key congressional races may not be decided tonight. 

Officials locate 27 missing children during raids in Virginia » Law enforcement officers located more than two-dozen missing children during a five-day search. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Officials found 27 children during raids in Virginia. The U.S. Marshals Service led the search, dubbed “Operation Find Our Children.” More than 60 federal, state, and local investigators took part in the operation. They worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the effort. 

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen made the announcement in a news release. 

It was the latest in an ongoing nationwide effort to locate missing children. Officials have rescued more than 440 kids in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana, and other states.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Hurricane Eta set to slam Central America » Hurricane Eta is expected to make landfall in Nicaragua today as a major Category 4 storm. 

Forecasters are warning of life-threatening winds of 130 miles per hour or more, along with catastrophic flooding across Central America. Some areas could receive nearly 3 feet of rain. 

Over the last two days, Nicaragua’s navy has carried families in open boats, mostly women and children, from outer islands to the mainland.

The storm track remains uncertain, but right now, forecasters believe it will lose strength in the mountains of Nicaragua and Honduras and then trek north toward Belize as a tropical depression. 

Gunmen kill 22 in Kabul Univ. attack » In Afghanistan, terrorists attacked students and others at Kabul University Monday, killing at least 22 people and wounding dozens. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: Gunmen opened fire on students and teachers as they ran from the campus. Hand grenades exploded and the sound of automatic rifle fire echoed across the school grounds. 

The attackers struck during a book fair. Afghan special forces killed the three assailants after an hours-long gun battle.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.  

Senior Afghan and Iranian officials were attending the book fair, but officials did not report any casualties among the dignitaries. 

Another attack last month targeted a tutoring center in a majority Shiite neighborhood, killing at least two-dozen students and injuring more than 100 others.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

At least 2 dead, 15 wounded in Vienna attack » Meantime, in Austria… 

AUDIO: [Siren]

At least two people are dead, including one of the assailants after a terror attack in Vienna. 

Gunmen opened fire on people enjoying one last evening out before a coronavirus lockdown Monday.

Community Rabbi of Vienna, Schlomo Hofmeister, said after hearing gunshots, he looked out his window…

HOFMEISTER: I saw the attacker running into various bars and restaurants and people running away, and one or two attackers chasing them all over the street. 

The shooting took place outside the city’s main synagogue but it wasn’t clear whether the house of worship was a target. The synagogue was closed at the time.

Unverified footage posted on social media showed gunmen walking through the streets of Vienna, apparently shooting at people at random.

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig said 15 people were hospitalized, seven with serious injuries.

Police shot and killed one of the attackers.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: what to watch for as election returns come in.

Plus, your prayers for our nation.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, the 3rd of November, 2020.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: the election!

Tonight is of course the big night. Vote counts will start rolling in at about 8 p.m. Eastern. By the time most of us go to bed, Lord willing, we will know whether President Trump gets a second term or whether Vice President Biden gets a first term. 

REICHARD: But as well all know, this year isn’t typical, and ballot counting may not be as smooth or fast as usual.

WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg takes us through the scenarios we could face tonight and in the coming days.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: This year’s voting problems began early in February, with the Demcratic primary in Iowa. 

AUDIO: The results app that they were using has not been working and the phone backup system that they had in place according to one source is a disaster. 

The Associated Press never was able to declare an official winner. 

Then, during California’s March primary, new voting machines malfunctioned. 

AUDIO: It’s actually really crazy the lines that have gathered throughout the day. I would say the average student is waiting two hours to cast their ballots…

The pandemic and related lockdowns threw another curveball. Sixteen states ended up postponing their primaries until the summer. 

Concerns about COVID also pushed states to expand early and mail-in voting for the election itself. That’s led to a record number of early ballots.

On top of that, both Democrats and Republicans have filed a slew of lawsuits. Party leaders are worried about too many—or not enough—voting changes. 

So given all that, what can we expect tonight? 

John Fortier directs governmental studies at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He says the first scenario is a normal outcome. 

FORTIER: I think there’s a good chance that we will know the election results on election night. 

That’s because the race will come down to a few key swing states, so we won’t need official results from every state to know the winner. Those swing states are Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina. Six states President Trump won in 2016 that are now a toss up. 

Donald Green is a political scientist at Columbia University. He says if former Vice President Joe Biden or President Trump takes a decisive lead in a majority of these states then a winner will quickly become clear. 

GREEN: If Florida goes for Biden, it’s very, very difficult to construct a scenario whereby Biden loses.

Donald Green says as tabulations start to roll in, Republicans should be prepared for a Red mirage in swing states. 

That’s because most likely, more Republicans will vote at the polls today than Democrats, who favored voting by mail. In some states, like Pennsylvania, poll ballots will be reported faster than mail-in ballots. 

GREEN: It will seem as though the Republicans are leading in states like Pennsylvania, and then that lead will erode as vote by mail mail ballots are counted. Just be prepared for a kind of wild ride the night of the election as two very different populations of ballots are merged together.

But if some swing states are too close to call tonight that will lead to the second scenario: The country settles in for what could be a long wait. 

GREEN: We could be in for a bumpy ride, at least in those places to the extent that the elections are close.

But what about all of those lawsuits filed against state election administrators? They could lead to a third scenario: Some states might not have certified election results until the courts resolve legal battles … legal battles over which contested ballots can be counted and which ones must be thrown out. 

But John Fortier at the Bipartisan Policy Center says those court battles will only matter in states where Trump and Biden are neck-and-neck. 

FORTIER: Again, if it’s not particularly close in any place, it’s somewhat more of an academic matter or matter for the future. But if it is a recount of some note and close, they’re ready with lots of lawyers on both sides to have those those sorts of fights after the election.

But even if there is a fierce battle over ballots, it won’t last longer than a month. The Supreme Court made it clear after the contested election in 2000 that all legal wrangling must be finished by December 8th. That’s six days before the Electoral College meets.

FORTIER: Those electors are going to meet and the election has to be resolved relatively quickly. And yes, litigation will not go on forever, to figure out who the president is. 

That brings us to a fourth scenario: a tie in the Electoral College. The last time that happened was 200 years ago. 

If we find ourselves in that situation this year, then, the House would choose the president and the Senate the vice president.  

If either or both of those votes end in a tie, well, that turns into more legal scenarios than we have time to cover now! 

Thankfully, both John Fortier and Donald Green believe Americans will know the outcome of the election long before January. 

FORTIER: I think at some point, the election result will become clearer and probably much earlier than we’re anticipating. These scenarios are that it really stays that close for a long time.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: the international perspective.

NICK EICHER: Election coverage has consumed Americans for months now. But what about the rest of the world? Is the race for White House getting the same kind of attention overseas?

WORLD Correspondent Jenny Lind Schmitt talked to people in four other countries to find out.

CLELLAND: People are very much paying attention to the US elections. But there’s a very one-sided view.

JENNY LIND SCHMITT, CORRESPONDENT: Alec Clelland is originally from Great Britain but has lived the last 40 years in Munich, Germany. He’s a retired patent judge at the European Patent Office, and became a German citizen in the wake of the Brexit vote.

CLELLAND: I would say 95 percent of the population are rooting for Biden. Because Trump has been so divisive—he’s seen as divisive. He’s seen as uninterested in international organizations or international affairs.

Clelland says that despite having the world’s largest military, America’s influence comes mainly through soft power: economics, culture, and cooperation in the international agreements that have kept most of Europe war-free for a generation.

President Trump’s position is a big departure from America’s stance at the height of the Cold War, when the EU foreign minister opened the European Patent Office.

CLELLAND: In 1980 he was saying, Never again war, never again war! We will work together from now on. You could see that the whole mindset was we must cooperate so that we do not fight. This seems to be missing at the moment. It’s a problem for all of us that a generation is growing up that doesn’t have that background, that doesn’t remember it, that doesn’t care perhaps.

Diego Domenici is a political science graduate student at the University of Trent in Italy. He’s part of that new generation, but his concerns echo Clelland’s.

DIEGO: Trump’s leadership style if you can call it that is a bit erratic. He doesn’t really seek to forge international alliances or bring everyone together. It leaves Europe and its member states very confused as to what direction we’re going in, and what should we do as a response.

As the Trump administration has pulled away from old alliances, Europe has increased its own leadership efforts. Domenici says that’s a good thing. But Italians and other Europeans still need and want the United States as a stable partner.

DIEGO: The European Union has always looked at the United States as a sort of guide. Both because of its economic power and just the amount of influence it has. And also it’s one state—one nation I should say, and it has a unified leader compared to the EU which is super fragmented. We’ve always looked to the United States as a guide, and when that guide is absent, or is not really effective, the EU is like, what do we do now?

About 4,000 miles straight south of Trent, Chris Okogwu pastors Sovereign Grace Community Church in Abuja, Nigeria. He says that for most Nigerians, the U.S. elections seem very far removed. But those who recognize the U.S. influence in Nigeria through foreign aid and the nation’s oil industry are paying closer attention.

OKOGWU: There are Nigerians who are like: We’ve changed our stance. Initially we thought this guy was just a joke. And now he’s someone that has proven to be quite efficient, you know he has improved the economy in the U.S. and Nigeria. For those who are paying attention, do see how that has had such a positive effect even on our economy.

The problem, Okogwu says, is that in the wake of his nation’s history of military regimes, the existing governmental structures are very statist. The public generally accepts views that align with the U.S. Democratic Party platform. But recent protests in Nigeria have started to change that.

OKOGWU: What people don’t want is bad leaders. And what people don’t want also is bad leaders to stay there.

Okogwu fears a Biden administration would encourage and support Nigerian leaders who have a more interventionist and authoritarian approach to governing.

OKOGWU: The kind of policies that he stands for, the kind of things that he would bring to the table would embolden and empower our government to continue to have that kind of reach where there’s an overreach.

Andrea Nelson is an American teacher living 1,200 miles west of Abuja,  in Ghana, just outside the capital, Nelson says Ghanaians pride themselves on being a peace-loving people. And they see the United States as a force for peace in the world.

NELSON: The people who pay attention to global issues realize that what happens in the U.S. will impact the rest of the world.

Nelson voted electronically, but for the run-up to the election she was grateful not to be in the thick of it.

NELSON: To be quite honest, the way elections have gone the last few cycles and how acrimonious it can be and how it dominates news cycles, it’s kind of a blessing to be remote from that.

This year, she says, the divisions among Americans seem especially worrisome, particularly when viewed from far away.

NELSON: It kind of causes us to pray more for our country, because it just doesn’t seem like if we continue in this divided mode that our country will flourish.

On the continents of Europe and Africa at least, people are paying close attention to the U.S. election. But their interest is less about who will win, and more about gauging what kind of leadership and priorities the United States will offer the world going forward.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jenny Lind Schmitt in Porrentruy, Switzerland.

NICK EICHER: No one knows better than a Floridian the importance of every single vote and this story illustrates the point.

So a man walks into the elections office in Orange County.  He hands the poll worker Karen Gonzalez two drivers licenses: his, and that of his wife’s. Gonzalez then tells television station WSVN what he told her:

GONZALEZ: I don’t need to vote. My wife needs to vote. I’m like well where’s your wife? He’s like, she’s in the car. And I’m like, well we need her here.

The man explained his wife couldn’t leave the car, because she was in active labor!

GONZALEZ: He’s like, yeah, she’s about to have a baby. But she will not go to the hospital and have the baby until she goes to vote.

That’s commitment!

So, Gonzalez rushes out to the car, verifies that she was a registered voter and waits for her to fill out her ballot in between contractions.

GONZALEZ: Oh she was just doing her, you know, 1-2 breathing, you know and in between breaths.

Election day Lamaze!

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, November 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. 

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. 

Well, it’s the first Tuesday of the month and that means Emily Whitten joins us for our Classic Book of the Month. Good morning, Emily.


REICHARD: What do you have for us today?  

WHITTEN: The book I want to talk about today is Leadership as an Identity by Crawford Loritts. In it, Loritts does a deep dive into God’s view of leadership. And I think most of us would agree this is a time of disappointing leadership in many areas of our culture, so I found it really refreshing.

REICHARD: Sounds good. Where should we start?

WHITTEN: Maybe I should begin with Loritts’ background. He served as Associate Director for Campus Crusade for Christ for nearly 30 years, and he’s pastored Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia since 2005. In addition to that, he serves as a public speaker and evangelist, and he hosts a daily radio program called Living a Legacy. So, he writes from personal experience about what it means to be a leader–the pressures and rewards, all that goes with it.

Here’s a clip of a speech of his from a Real Momentum video posted on Youtube this May.

CRAWFORD LORITTS: What did every great man or woman of God have in common that God trusted with his assignments? Remember I said leadership is all about assignment. It’s about what something needs to be done. It’s the stewardship and execution of God’s will in human history. That’s what leadership is about–distinctively Christian leadership is about.

So, Mary, Loritts asks us to think about what sets Christian leadership apart from worldly ideas of leadership. And his first insight is, leadership isn’t about you and your resume. It’s about God and what He’s doing. 

In the first chapters of Leadership as an Identity, Loritts observes how God chooses leaders in the Bible. He says you can’t take a Myers-Briggs test to find out if you’re leadership material in God’s eyes. Rather, God chooses all sorts of people with many different gifts and backgrounds. What remains the same across the board—God takes sinners and shapes them to accomplish His purposes. The big question then becomes, how does He do that?

REICHARD: I’m guessing it’s not a virtual Masterclass.

WHITTEN: If only it were that easy, right? I’m afraid not, Mary. Loritts says the first trait of a great Christian leader is brokenness. Here’s Loritts speaking in another Youtube video, this time at Eagle’s Nest Church Atlanta in 2019:

LORITTS: It’s all about what God wants to do in and through my life. So He gives us holy handicaps to keep us trusting Him. Our failures, all of these things, are redemptive. And they should be the things that we put in our trophy case. Not that we delight in the failure, but that we delight from the lessons that we learned…

Loritts contrasts brokenness with woundedness. It’s not enough to be wounded. You’ve got to take your wounds to God and find His healing. That creates the second trait of a godly leader—uncommon communion with God. Loritts talks here in that Real Momentum video about the gap between our abilities and God’s assignments.

LORITTS: Brokenness is a permanent sense of God neediness. And our theme song playing in our minds all the time is, ‘I need Thee, oh, I need Thee, every hour I need Thee.’ Moses as he walked into pharaoh with nothing more than a stick and the presence of God, every step of the way he was saying, ‘I need Thee, oh, I need Thee.’ You can’t do what you need to as a husband and a father if you’re not falling on your face before a holy God.

Loritts often illustrates his points with Biblical leaders. On p. 77, he points out the time God sent Jacob home to face his violent brother Esau–the brother he’d stolen from years before. As he gets closer to home, Jacob feels his need for God, and he wrestles with God all night. In the end, Jacob walks away with a limp but he also receives God’s blessing. Loritts says that’s a picture for us of the brokenness and uncommon communion of godly leadership.

REICHARD: Thinking of Jacob’s limp…Sometimes that brokenness is easy to see, and sometimes you can’t see it.  God still uses it. What else should we know about Christian leadership? 

WHITTEN: Yes, there’s a lot to unpack here. Loritts discusses two other character traits, servant leadership and radical obedience. He includes lists of inspiring quotes at the end of each chapter, and ultimately, he encourages leaders to be faithful to the end. And we do that by serving out of our new identity in Christ.

REICHARD: “Serving out of our new identity in Christ.” Explain what you mean by that? 

WHITTEN: Well, Loritts says “distinctively Christian leaders” aren’t just doing God’s work. We are God’s work. An important part of His plan is to make us more like Christ. That’s why we can’t just lead in a transactional way, serving to get what we want. Instead, godly leaders follow the Biblical pattern of sanctification. God brings trials into our lives, causing us to cling to Him and obey His Word. As God changes us, then we can lead others out of His strength and for His glory. Loritts summarizes this in a 2011 Heart Cry for Revival conference:

LORITTS: It is the sovereign God who gets the glory as we carry out His assignments.

REICHARD: Thank you for this recommendation today, Emily. 

WHITTEN: You’re very welcome, Mary. Happy reading!

REICHARD: For October, Emily recommended Leadership as an Identity by Crawford Loritts. For more classic book ideas, just search for Classic Book of the Month at

MARY REICHARD: Today is Tuesday, November 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Next up, more prayers for our nation.

Here are Mauree and Jackson Bourgeois reading from the Book of Common Prayer, Darlene Hess reading from Isaiah, Ben Keller sharing a prayer by John Calvin, and poet Cheryl Balcom.

BOURGEOIS: Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our power and privileges, guide the people of the United States, and of our community and state, in the election of officials and representatives that by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

DARLENE HESS: No matter what happens in the upcoming election, remember God’s Word: “I have chosen you and not cast you off. Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10

BEN KELLER: Almighty God, the depravity of our nature is so great that we cannot bear prosperity without the flesh immediately raging in us. And without becoming even arrogant against you. Grant that we may profit under the trials of the cross. And when you have blessed us, may we with lowly hearts submit ourselves to you. And not only bear your yolk submissively but proceed in this obedience all our life. And may we so contend against all temptations as to never glory in ourselves, convinced that all true and real glory is laid up for us in you through Christ our Lord, Amen.

CHERYL BALCOM: This prayer was inspired by a recent drive down a long country road lined with political yard signs. It’s called, “The Way.”

I travel a road between right and left,

Red or blue, no or yes.

Each side pulls with grains of truth,

Disguising their pride, away from you.

I long for unity, for peace, for hope,

But find myself tangled in the enemy’s rope.

For ears are tickled, eyes are blind,

And deception runs deep on either side.

Where are my teachers, Lord?

The ones that you say, 

I will hear behind me saying, ‘This is the way.’

I’m listening, Father, but my ears are clogged,

With the murky dimness of desire’s fog.

For my desire feels true, but my heart can deceive.

Help me to hear you, help me believe.

Let truth come to light is my passionate prayer.

I pray for discernment and compassion and care.

While voices are raised and arguments strong,

May my thoughts rise above them, in worship and song.

Whichever side wins, you are still on the throne.

I will live it, believe it, and make your name known.

May I choose not one side, but choose only you.

For you are the Way, and the Life, and the Truth.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: We hope to have election results for you, but at least we’ll attempt some perspective on American political history.

And, we’ll hear from voters who cast ballots in three different states today to find out whether the process went well.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Psalmist says, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices.” 

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.







Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.