Biden named President-Elect, drawing close to 2020 Election saga

After a lengthy election cycle, former Vice President Joe Biden has been named the President-elect and is set to become the 46th President of the United States.
Incumbent President Donald Trump’s chances at winning a second term in office seemed promising on election night, but as more mail-in votes began to be counted the following days later, more crucial electoral votes in states like Michigan, Nevada, and Georgia were awarded to Biden. The final count in the electoral college was 306-232, with Biden receiving more than the 270 votes required to win the election.
“I remember I was at work when I first got the Apple News notification that Biden won, and I started jumping up and down and screaming,” senior Aaliyah Howard said. “Just the thought of having a competent person in the White House again was unbelievable.”
The close race lasted for five days, with each state counting votes at different speeds, until Biden was officially projected as the winner by the Associated Press.
“Personally, I followed the results pretty close and in the beginning I guessed Trump would keep the lead,” senior Finn Gomez said. “Once I saw that Biden was leading, I knew Trump wouldn’t regain his lead. I’m not really shocked because it was such a close race.”
With the election results turning out in Biden’s favor, that extends also to his running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Once President-elect Biden is inaugurated, Harris will become the first female Vice President, as well as the first African-American and Asian-American to hold the office.
“It means to the world to me that she is the first vice president of African-American, Asian-American, and Indian and Jamaican descent,” Howard said. “She is my absolute role model because she makes me believe that the goals I want to achieve are possible since I am an African-American woman…I think she will do great things and Joe Biden made the best choice.”
Looking back on the past four years of the Trump administration, shared opinions on his presidential performance are few and far between, due to the immense polarization between the two major parties. Supporters of Trump reflect on a presidency focused on law/order and foreign policy, while also being badgered by the media.
“I feel that his presidential record in regards to policy has been productive since the First Step Act is a huge head start to prison/crime bill reform…I also have active duty family members that were able to come home for the first time in a long time under his administration,” senior Dylan Sanderson said. “In regards to his record with the public, it’s hard to say due to the fact that the only people who really voice their opinions on President Trump publicly are the ones who oppose him.”
The First Step Act is a criminal justice bill signed by President Trump in December 2018 that was designed to reduce the risk of formerly incarcerated people returning to prison and to better transition them back into society. Recently, the First Step Act aided in allowing prisoners to receive sentence reductions for COVID-19 related risk or exposure.
Critics of Trump cite four years of selfishness and apathy, in addition to lies and childishness.
“All he did was for himself and his family, and if you do something doesn’t like, he fires you or goes off on Twitter,” Howard said. “A presidency should be about the people, not Twitter followers. He shows such little consideration toward others that he organized campaign rallies during a crisis. He also refuses to recognize the Black Lives Matter movement and makes excuses for why he can’t admit things.”
While it seems like the presidential race is over, President Trump and his legal team have challenged the results in certain states, alleging that illegal votes were being cast in Biden’s favor, votes in his favor were not counted, and other claims of election fraud.
“I think the allegations are very valid,” Sanderson said. “I personally know someone who went to vote in person and had their ballot denied due to them voting ‘via absentee’ when I know they did not. Voter fraud happens every election, it just seems to switch to whichever side wants to investigate it based on the [election] results. I’m very curious to see how the investigations in the next few weeks will go.”
Emboldened by his supporters, President Trump remains adamant that the election is being stolen from him, while others remain skeptical about the legitimacy of his claims of mass election fraud.
“I don’t think the election results will change,” Gomez said. “I do personally think there were some things that happened –nothing on a hidden shadow government level– but certainly things like glitches and errors which we saw in Michigan where a false winner was given [in an Oakland county commissioner election] and switched after a recount. On a grand scale, I don’t think there was rampant voter fraud.”
Opposers of Trump believe that the claims made by the Trump administration are a final attempt to retain power after losing the election. Echoing the 2016 election, President Trump made similar claims about election integrity in the event that he lost to then-opponent Hillary Clinton.
“I think these allegations being made are just a front to buy some time to try and change how the votes turned out,” Howard said. “I think [Trump supporters] are finally done and think they have more fight left in them, but the clock has run out. They just need to get over themselves and stop turning the American people in the wrong direction. There was a clear winner, bottom line, and they need to take the right steps to concede.”
The incoming administration faces a plethora of national issues to oversee, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the pandemic, a host of other issues arise in the form of cooperation between politicians and health officials, availability to healthcare, and economic and employment uncertainty.
“I hope that [Biden and Harris] can get together with the health officials and diminish the cases and deaths of COVID-19,” Howard said. “I am confident that they will listen to the experts and bring the crisis to a conclusion.”
Expectations are high on both sides for the Biden-Harris administration, as the US prepares for another transition of power amidst a global pandemic and civil unrest.
“If and when the Biden-Harris administration takes office, I’d love to see them end mass censorship,” Sanderson said. “Discrimination of the freedom of speech of any group of people in this country is a direct violation of the First Amendment and should be handled accordingly.”