The Race to 270 Sweeps America

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Rebecca Lim, Tech Editor

   Tuesday night, then Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday, then… Saturday morning. News outlets all over the world broke the news that Joe Biden was the projected winner of the state of Pennsylvania, winning the state’s 20 electoral votes and reaching 270 – the threshold needed to win the presidency.


   Throughout the week, Americans held their breath as they constantly checked Google, social media, and the news to see if states had finished counting. 


   By the end of the night on Election Day –Tuesday, November 3rd– the race was too close to call in most states, but both Biden and Trump had won a handful of states. Biden won the large and reliably blue states like California and New York, while Trump had won much of the reliably red states in the South, and most importantly, Florida. Although Trump had won more states at this point, Biden still had a solid lead in the electoral vote count and a small lead in the popular vote (Yahoo). 


   By the third night of the 2020 “election week,” fatigue and anxiety were starting to set in as people waited on the key battleground states of Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania to count their ballots. Because of the high amount of early in-person voting and mail-in ballots, for some states who didn’t start counting them until election day, results were delayed. 


   As America woke up to news of the race being called for Joe Biden, a large exhale was felt around the world. Biden supporters were undeniably ecstatic, celebrating an end to the Trump era, while many others just felt relieved that the election was finally ‘over.’ As sophomore Emily Somberg puts it, “I feel like when Biden won there was a huge weight lifted off of everyone’s shoulders, and I was really happy that we were able to vote Trump out.”


   Celebrations erupted all over the nation, with New York City and Washington, D.C. having significant demonstrations. Many New Yorkers only found out about Biden’s victory due to the noise and commotion downtown, and similar scenes took place at the Black Lives Matter plaza in front of the White House, and in cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta. 


   That night, President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris gave their victory speeches in his home state of Delaware. They called for unity, understanding, and bipartisanship moving forward, and to repair the divisiveness and division within our nation.


   Their victory was record-breaking; as people watched their speech live, many women and people of color expressed their emotions on seeing the first ever female, Black, and Indian-American VP-elect. Her historic victory has undeniably set an example to young girls across the country, and as Harris said in her speech, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last” (Reuters). 


   In addition, Joe Biden became the oldest president-elect in American history, and received the most ever votes for a presidential candidate: over 78 million, surpassing the record previously set by Barack Obama in 2008, who received around 70 million votes.


   However, across the aisle, there are no celebrations. The Trump campaign, along with many notable Republicans, are refusing to accept the results and are filing lawsuit after lawsuit, demanding recounts, challenging the media about voter fraud, and having the election being ‘stolen’ from them. 


   President Trump is refusing to concede, and has falsely declared victory for himself multiple times. 


  They have filed multiple lawsuits in the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada. As of November 17th, only one lawsuit has been won–in Pennsylvania– but the win doesn’t affect Trump’s electoral outcome in that state. Trump’s top lawyer Rudy Giulani made arguments that day in a Pennsylvania court for another lawsuit that was filed by the campaign, but the case has not yet been decided  (ABC). 


   The rest of the lawsuits have either been dismissed by judges, withdrawn, or are pending; many of the judges who threw out these suits have cited a lack of evidence (Business Insider), which has also been a popular criticism of the Trump campaign’s message that the election is fraudulent and rigged.


   Sophomore Emma Schenker states, “Honestly, I’m not at all surprised that Trump’s trying to claim the election was rigged. I think he’d do just about everything he could to stay in power… he’s made up so many false facts in the past, and a lot of the time his supporters even believe him. I just hope people can see that none of it is based on the truth.”