An election for the history books

by Elena Nowlin

An election map shows which states were won by each candidate (photo courtesy of Bing).

“Why are we waiting?” This has been the refrain of many in the United States since election night. While the morning of November 7 and Biden’s declared victory seemed to alleviate these worries, many issues still haunt the American people. Accusations of voter fraud, declarations of premature victory and continued uncertainty for some regarding the true winner have led to great distress and insecurity in this season. 

While COVID-19 can be blamed for most of the issues this year, the tension around these political events started earlier this year. On May 25, 2020, a 46-year-old African American man named George Floyd died. Although his death was caused by several contributing factors, the police trying to subdue him upon arrest were found guilty of his murder.  

This death sparked the start of a movement to bring attention to supposed police brutality and racism throughout the United States. During this COVID-19 craze, the resulting riots took the lives of many and caused significant property damage.  

This perfect storm set the stage for an election wrought with demands for the removal of a president many call by a variety of colorful labels. The effects of the COVID-19 lockdown did nothing to help the matters at hand, and may have added to the severity of the events, and all was blamed on the one in power, President Donald Trump. 

In an address published to his Twitter on November 5, Biden (@JoeBiden) stated that “…We continue to feel very good about where things stand. We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator Harris and I will be declared the winners.” This statement was later confirmed just two days later. On the morning of November 7, the victory was declared, by multiple sources, in Biden’s favor. Shortly after he tweeted, “America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”  

President Trump (@realDonaldTrump) commented during an address he published to his Twitter account on November 5, “If you count the legal votes I easily win, If you count the illegal votes they can try to steal the election from us.” Despite these claims a few days into the election, two short days later, sources claimed that President Trump lost his race for reelection.  

While it seems as though Biden has won, President Trump has called for an investigation into voter fraud and claims that the victory is his if these fraudulent votes are removed. An hour before Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, the current President tweeted out, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” Trump’s tweets after Biden was declared the presumptive President-elect have followed this mindset.  

Where does this leave the American people? We might be waiting still. It seems fitting that a year so full of chaos should have an election to match.   

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