Biden wins election, UNI reacts

Vice+President-elect+Kamala+Harris+and+President-elect+Joe+Biden+triumphantly+raise+their+hands+after+declaring+victory+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+7.

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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and President-elect Joe Biden triumphantly raise their hands after declaring victory on Saturday, Nov. 7.

ELIZABETH KELSEY and EMMA'LE MAAS

Four days past Election Day, Americans at last received the news: the nation will soon have a new president.

Multiple media sources, from AP News to CNN to Fox News to the New York Times, called the presidency for Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Saturday, Nov. 7. 

With the win of Biden’s home state, Pennsylvania, the former vice president had passed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. He will become the 46th president, replacing incumbent President Donald Trump.

When the news broke on Saturday, UNI graduate student Karrah Bates ran downstairs to tell her roommate the good news, and freshman elementary education major Molly Scott cried “happy tears of relief.”

“I’m excited for January 20th when he gets inaugurated,” Scott said. “It was the result that I hoped for, but I wasn’t sure. I thought it could go either way. We knew it was going to be super close.”

The election had hung in the balance since polls closed Tuesday, with the final results hinging on several key states, including Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona. Record numbers of mail-in ballots, coupled with laws in states such as Pennsylvania which prohibited the counting of such ballots until after polls had closed, were largely responsible for the delay. 

Scott, a freshman elementary education major, hadn’t expected results to take so long to be confirmed.

“I thought we were going to get them the day after,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to be three, four days after the election.”

Her friend Carly Hollister, a freshman undecided major, said she had expected it to take “a long time, but definitely not four days.” 

For both Hollister and Scott, who voted in-person on Election Day, the 2020 election had been their first as voters. It was also the first time voting for sophomore business administration major Maleah Ford-Mehaffy, who voted in-person during early voting. 

“I wasn’t really surprised (by the final result) since Biden was already in the lead,” Ford-Mehaffy said. “I’m glad that it’s over. I’m glad that we have results.”

Although they were relieved and grateful, Bates, Hollister and Scott all voiced concerns about President Trump’s potential reaction to the results. Prior to the race being called, the president had spent several days alleging, without evidence, that there had been widespread election fraud and misconduct.

“I’m nervous on what the reaction from the current administration is going to be,” Scott said. “I might just delete Twitter for a little bit.”

Bates agreed.

“I’m relieved that this was the decision and this is what the results were, but I wish my anxiety had still gone away completely, (because) I’m worried about how Trump’s going to react over the next couple days,” she said.

Indeed, Trump has so far refused to concede the election, instead sending a press release to his followers attempting to discredit the results.

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed,” Trump wrote. “The simple fact is that this election is far from over.”

Trump also vowed to continue prosecuting states and demanding recounts, questioning the integrity of the new president-elect. He claimed that the Biden campaign had advocated for ballots to be counted “even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters.”

“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands,” Trump wrote.

The Trump administration has already called for a recount in Wisconsin, and several elected officials in Georgia expect a recount to happen soon.

Hollister said she feels the Biden campaign has nothing to fear from a recount.

“Honestly, just do it, because it’s probably just going to be the same results,” she said.

According to NBC’s political commentator Chuck Todd, recounts rarely adjust results, and they will only adjust the numbers by hundreds, not the thousands needed to overturn Biden’s lead.

“When you look at these numbers, you do a recount and maybe you get 536 votes. That’s not the 10,000 needed for these states,” Todd said on-air with NBC Saturday morning.

On the evening of Nov. 7, Biden addressed the nation as the new president-elect, along with soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris.

Harris commended the voters and recognized the issues most important to them.

“You chose hope and unity, decency, science and yes – truth,” she said. “You chose Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.”

Harris also addressed her history-making moment as the first Black and Asian American vice president and the first woman to hold the position.

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” she said. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Biden’s speech mostly focused on uniting the nation. He pledged to be a “president who seeks not to divide, but unify. Who doesn’t see the red states, the blue states, but sees the United States.”

He continued, “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, turn down the temperature, look at each other again, see each other again, and to stop seeing our opponents as enemies. They are Americans. We are Americans… Let us be the nation we know we can be. A nation united, a nation healed.”