Written by Caitlin McDonough
On Saturday, Nov. 7 around 11:30 a. m., history was made in the United States and Pennsylvania. Democrat Joe Biden surpassed President Donald Trump in electoral college votes, with Biden officially winning 306 votes compared to Trump’s 232.
Biden – 306 electoral votes; 50.8%; 80,978,429 votes
Trump – 232 electoral votes; 47.4%; 74,093,337 votes
Biden – 50.02%; 3,459,854 votes
Trump – 48.84%; 3,378,223 votes
Biden’s win of Pennsylvania, with a margin of around 81,000 votes, allowed him to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to become the 46th president of the U.S. Not only did he win the electoral votes, but Biden also won the popular vote by 6.8 million votes. This win came after over three days of vote counting and uncertainty, as states had to count thousands of mail-in votes after Election Day. This election also showed the most votes ever in a U.S. election, around 155 million votes.
Despite President Trump’s refusal to concede and acknowledge Biden’s win, people all over the U.S. danced and marched in their city’s streets to celebrate a new president-elect. Many are celebrating not just the president-elect, but the vice president-elect, as California Senator Kamala Harris is the first woman, first Black American, and first South Asian American to ever become vice president.
Harris, who opened the victory celebration on Nov. 7, will become the highest-ranking woman in U.S. government history. She said in her speech, “while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” She thanked the many women of all races who came before her to help pave the way for her vice presidency.
President-elect Biden said in his victory speech to the nation, “I sought this office to restore the soul of America, and to make America respected around the world again, and to unite us here at home.” His speech was one of unification, announcing that he would be a president for all Americans, not just those who voted for him, and calling to end a “grim era of demonization.” He also quoted the Bible, saying, “The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America.”
The U.S. is still having difficultly healing, considering that President Trump and his administration have continued to discredit the integrity of the election and have convinced some voters that Biden “stole” the 2020 election. These baseless claims of fraud have been discussed by experts, and there has been no significant evidence of voter fraud, voter intimidation, or legal ballots not being counted.
William Barr, U.S. attorney general, said that the U.S. Department of Justice has not uncovered evidence of voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election. Considering a difference of 6.8 million votes in favor of Joe Biden, Barr said, “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” This is significant, especially since Barr has been an ally of the Trump administration, and he initially worried that mail-in voting could cause fraud.
The New York Times also contacted the offices of election officials in every state, and they found out directly from these officials that there were no major voting issues reported. Some states reported small, common problems such as “a few instances of illegal or double voting, some technical glitches, and some minor errors in math,” but no major issues that would imply the election was rigged or “stolen.”
Despite a complete lack of evidence, President Trump has perpetually continued to say that election fraud is real, and the election was rigged. Many of his tweets have been marked with a fact-checking icon that leads to a page about how voter fraud is very rare in the US according to election experts.
In the last weeks of 2020, AP and many other news outlets have called the election, and President-elect Biden is moving forward with the presidential transition. Although President Trump has not conceded, his administration is allowing a transition to proceed. According to the New York Times, one of Biden’s top priorities is getting a new stimulus package to Americans in January because of the weakened economy, and he is moving ahead with filling his cabinet.
- Photo: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/politics/biden-harris-prepare-to-travel-more-as-campaign-heats-up/2186050/