Hannah Lonergan, Staff Writer |
Election day turned into election week as votes continued to be counted into the weekend of Nov. 6. On early Saturday, Nov. 7, many news outlets declared former Vice President Joseph R. Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election.
After taking a lead against President Donald Trump in Nevada and Pennsylvania, Biden was awarded the electoral votes from those battleground states to push him over the 270-vote threshold to win the presidency.
The outcome of the election comes with many historic firsts for the country. Joe Biden received a record number of votes cast for any presidential candidate in the United States with approximately 74 million votes. Turning 78 later this month, Biden will be the oldest president to take office in January of 2021.
Other big firsts include Kamala Harris, Senator of California, becoming the first woman, first black woman, first South Asian woman and first daughter of immigrants to become vice president-elect of the United States. In her acceptance speech on Saturday, Nov. 7, Harris declared that this historical moment will not be a one-off event, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”
Another first will come with Biden’s German Shepherd, Major, being the first rescue dog in the White House. Major and his brother, Champ, will be the new First Pets of the United States in the White House.
Votes are still being counted as many states were not able to begin counting mail-in ballots until election day. Three states in particular have yet to be called by the Associated Press (AP), which was the major news outlet to declare Biden the winner. As of Sunday, Nov. 8 Alaska, Georgia and North Carolina have yet to be called due to their narrow margins, but President Trump is in the lead in both Alaska and North Carolina.
Many states do not certify their election results until weeks after the election, many even going into December. With those narrow margins, especially in battleground states, recounts are possible, but news outlets don’t expect these recounts to change the results of the election.
President Trump has so far denied Biden’s win, claiming fraudulent and illegal votes were cast. Trump’s recent tweets claimed that “THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS. I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED WHICH OUR OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE. NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WERE SENT TO PEOPLE WHO NEVER ASKED FOR THEM!”
The Trump campaign is planning to legally challenge many states that lean in favor of Biden’s projected win. The Biden campaign has lawyers prepared to battle any lawsuits or appeals of these allegations. According to The Washington Post, a top attorney from the Biden campaign Bob Bauer said, “So we don’t have to do anything but protect the rights of voters and to stand up for the democratic process.”
Congressional races across the country also yielded historical firsts this week. Sarah McBride won a senate seat in Delaware, becoming the first open transgender senator and according to Slate, “the highest-ranking openly trans lawmaker in the country after winning her race.” Stephanie Byers won a seat in the Kansas state House, becoming the first openly trans person of color to be elected to the state legislature in the United States.
Other major results for the 2020 Election include New Jersey’s vote in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana use for anyone over 21 years of age. In Denver, voters approved a repeal of the city’s pit bull ban. Pit bull owners in Denver will have to pay an annual fee and will be limited to two pit bulls per home but the city says they will revisit these requirements after three years. California voters passed a proposition that will restore the right to vote for more than 50 thousand parolees in the state.
After the results of the 2020 presidential election were announced on Saturday morning, people took to the streets across the country, some protesting and some celebrating Biden’s win.
The election results, according to the AP, have Biden with 290 electoral votes and President Trump with 214 as of Nov. 8.
The next few weeks will likely lead to re-counts and many legal challenges from President Trump’s campaign. Biden’s team will spend their time prior to the inauguration in January planning for policies and getting debriefed on the COVID-19 pandemic.