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Joe Biden Dramatically Wins 46th US Presidency

Matthew Goodwin-Freeman

At 16:28 GMT on a cold Saturday evening, Joe Biden was announced as winner of Pennsylvania, taking him past the magic 270 electoral college votes needed to become the 46th President of the United States. After a week of bitterness, allegations of fraud, social media outcry and protests, patience and democracy triumphed.

Many students think Biden will provide a more “stable, experienced Presidency, especially after being Vice-President for Obama” (Luigi). “A step in the right direction” others say, as Trump becomes merely a “meme” (Joe). “Weather you are Trump or Biden supporter, you have to respect democracy and Biden is definitely the lesser of twoevils” (Ellé).

Just over 13 months ago, Joe Biden stood on stage with nearly 20 other Democrats all vouching to be the next Presidential candidate, but eventually there could only be one.

Trump has cast doubt on the election from the start, after failing to get a grip of COVID-19, and on Tuesday, he got his wish

After months of riotous, tiresome and socially-distanced campaigning, Joe Biden did what the pollsters predicted: kick Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.

Yet the story isn’t that simple. For months Donald Trump, in the COVID-epicentre that is the United States, has been throwing allegations of fraud and corruption at the US Mail-In ballots. it is crucial to say, there is no evidence of this, and even Donald Trump’s team have not produced any evidence for this. Yet, Trump has cast doubt on the election from the start, after failing to get a grip of COVID-19, and on Tuesday, he got his wish.

Trump pushed supporters to go to the polls and “not let the virus dominate [their] lives”

As ballots from a record turnout of more than 160m Americans poured into counting stations the World knew this was going to take longer than expected. In crucial swing-states counters had not been allowed to begin tallying the votes up of mail-in ballots before the end of Election Day, despite warning this would mean a delayed result. Republican judges in federal courts had denied this plea and so when the polling stations closed on November 3rd it was all hands on deck.

First they counted the ballots that had been submitted that day, from voters who had come to polling stations all over the US. These were majority Republican supporters, after Trump pushed supporters to go to the polls and “not let the virus dominate [their] lives”, whilst Democratic supporters stayed safe at home and voted by post.

In the early counts, Trump was therefore ahead. Yet, overnight on November 4th, there was still no winner; such a high turnout meant things were happening far slower.

Trump subsequently took to the stage and declared victory, despite less than 65% of the ballots having been counted and him not even leading in the electoral college. Many Republicans became more sceptical of Trump however, causing a new rift in the party to open up.

As the counters began opening legally cast mail-in ballots, Biden’s lead gradually increased.

As a result, Trump got more and more angry, arguing that the election results were a fraud and corrupt. Thinking he could cast doubt on the system and speak to his oh-so-loyal supporters, Trump has now filed over 300 lawsuits around the US, each trying to get certain ballots removed, discounted or rejected. Yet every judge so far has argued that Trump doesn’t have enough evidence to justify his claims.

At the time Biden was announced winner, Trump was playing golf at his golf club in Virginia, still refusing to concede his presidency

Counting continued, regardless of Trump’s tweeting and shortly after 4pm GMT on Saturday, Pennsylvania announced Joe Biden had won, making him the 46th President-elect of the United States, and Kamala Harris the first female, person of colour Vice-President; a result which many have seen as a historic achievement for the US.

At the time Biden was announced winner, Trump was playing golf at his golf club in Virginia, still refusing to concede his presidency or admit defeat. Despite Trump’s threat of more legal cases next week, there has been no evidence of widespread corruption or fraud.

As the country engages in widespread celebrations across the country, praising the triumph of democracy, the world looks on to see if Joe Biden will be able to heal a divided nation.

 Matthew Goodwin-Freeman

Featured image courtesy of Tony Webster on Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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