Biden and Harris win historic 2020 presidential election

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are chosen to mend a divided country and stem a global pandemic.

by Sarah Perez

A NEW PRESIDENT: President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris celebrating their joint victory with a speech in Wilmington, Del. On Nov. 7, Biden was confirmed as the winner of the 2020 election with a lead of 306 electoral votes. Photo by Sarah Perez

The 2020 presidential election was a contest of swift adjustments and new records. The unprecedented increase in voting participation made way for unpredictable circumstances. Even though the results were heavily disputed, the controversial election was called in favor of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The race ended on Nov. 7, after President-elect Joe Biden had confirmed a win in Pennsylvania, amassing more than the needed 270 electoral votes. The total margin of victory was 306-234. The net number of votes surpassed 155 million. This was the largest total number of ballots casted in a presidential election. There were several complications after the polls closed, including calling delays and many controversial in-state results. The results of the election are still deemed controversial due to the very close calls of states like Arizona and Wisconsin.

“Not only is it a privilege and an honor to vote, but it is also a vessel to voice my personal and political beliefs that could impact me and many others,” said senior Hector Collazo. “By voting, I can do my part to support the progression and growth of society and our country.”

The 2020 Presidential Election evoked a variety of new circumstances. Because of the influx of absentee ballots, the results of each state were delayed. After three days, President-elect Joe Biden was projected as the winner with a lead of 306 electoral votes. However, some states, including Georgia, were called for a recount of the votes.

“We had such a large mail-in turn out that there were many issues bound to happen,” said senior Alex Alen. “There were so many unexpected results waiting to happen. It was taking so much time to count all these votes coming in, which is why things came out so crazy.”

In August of 2020, Biden had chosen Kamala Harris as his running mate. The win for Biden means that Harris would be chosen for vice president. This would make Harris the first African American and East-Asian American woman ever elected for vice president.

“I am so happy that we are starting to grow out of our misogynistic points of view about the role of women in our society, in addition to making another victory against the systemic racism of all people in the United States,” said an anonymous student.

BREAKING BARRIERS: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris giving a speech after the victory of Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Nov. 7. Harris will be known as the very first African-American and East-Asian woman to be chosen for vice president. Photo by Sarah Perez

Some states have had unpredictable results. The state of Georgia has a democratic win for the first time in 28 years. Comparatively, Arizona was called a blue state for the first time in 24 years, winning by 30,000 votes. At the same time, the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were taken by Biden. These wins were essential for Biden’s victory.

“I was anxious because of the setbacks and rapid changes that were happening,” said West Broward alumni Sydney Perera. “Although they were scary, I understood why they were happening.”

One of the effects of this highly contested and debated election was the massive amount of American who came out to cast their ballot and let the voices be heard. Compared to the 2016 election, there has been an increase in voter participation. President-elect Joe Biden is the first candidate to have 81.2 million votes, passing the previous record of 70 million set by former President Barack Obama, and surpassing the 65.8 million votes won by 2016 Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Voting is not an obligation, but a responsibility,” said senior Oladapo Suleiman. “Having only become a US citizen 2 years ago after about 13 years, I think it is important people ask why they would not vote rather than why they would.”

According to the CIRCLE Research center at Tufts University, there was a seven percent increase of voters 18-29 years of age compared to the 2016 voter turnout. The percentage of young voters went from 44 percent to 51 percent.

“When young people come out in droves to vote, they show their power and they can better pressure politicians to pass legislation and create policies,” said U.S. History Teacher Cassia Laham. “It is important people understand that voting is only step one and that the work continues.”

This year’s election also came to light a noticeable increase in early voting due to the avoidance of crowded places in the state of a national pandemic. Within the first few days of early voting, the amount had exceeded 2016’s early voting count of 58 million. According to the US Election Project, this year’s early voting count has surpassed 100 million, with Florida’s count being 4.3 million.

“I decided to early vote because I thought it would be easier and safer compared to voting in person,” said West Broward alumni Jasmine Perez. “It did not matter how I voted, as long as I did, even if that meant having to spend 8 hours in line on Election Day. I was going to make sure my voice was heard.”

Although the results of the election are still considered moot by some, the never-before-seen circumstances are undeniably substantial. However, due to these conditions, there continue to be controversies following the legality of the election. The states of which have had the most controversy and impact on the election -Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia- have been certified respectfully on the dates Nov. 23, Nov. 23 and Nov. 20. “This election is indicative of a glimpse into the real world I get once I graduate at the end of the school year. I hope to see that communities are significantly impacted in whatever way will see better, no matter the results of the election,” Suleiman said.

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