a historic election
After several days of a tense counting process, Vice president Joseph R. Biden and Senator Kamala Harris have achieved the majority of the electoral votes and the presidency and vice presidency of the United States. Biden and Harris obtained the majority in the morning of November 7th when the Associated Press and several other news outlets announced that his lead in the states of Nevada and Pennsylvania was irreversible and increased his margin in the electoral college over the 270 votes needed to win the presidency. Normally, the winner of the election is known the Tuesday of Election Day. However, because in many states the margin of victory was very small, 25,700 in Nevada and 37,298 in Pennsylvania at the time of the writing of this article, the results had to wait until the votes were counted with the most strict scrutiny.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many states to implement and expand the possibility of vote by mail and, since some did not have the adequate infrastructure or experience to count the votes, the process took longer than normal. However, another factor that delayed the result was the fact that this was, according to Fortune magazine, the election with the highest turnout in modern history. Therefore, counting the number of votes took and continues to take time. Moreover, because counting is not completely over, we can’t know for certain the number of total votes yet.
Biden’s election is a historic event. The vice president defeated President Donald Trump, who joins John Adams, Herbert Hoover, and George H.W Bush, in the group of presidents that have served only one term. Biden has an extensive political career, which dates from his election as Senator for the state of Delaware in the U.S Senate in 1973, to serving as Barack Obama’s Vice President. However, it is especially important to highlight Kamala Harris’ election for the vice presidency. Harris is the first woman, the first black person, the first person of South Asian descent and the first daughter of immigrants to be elected for the position of Vice President, a key victory for diversity and inclusion.
Even though there are celebrations by the Biden campaign and supporters all around the country, the electoral process is not over yet. The counting is not over, even though most analysts argue that Trump cannot overtake Biden’s lead. Furthermore, Trump’s campaign has emphasized that it will continue pursuing legal mechanisms to ensure the legitimacy of the process because, they claim, there were multiple irregularities. The veracity of these claims is highly questionable and the probability of success of these legal mechanisms is minimal.
Furthermore, the control of the Senate, which was supposed to be defined by this election is not clear. In the state of Georgia, the campaigns of Republican senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler did not capture the required majority to maintain their position in the Senate. Democrats still can capture two additional seats in the January 5th run-off election. If they do, both parties would have 50 senators. In these situations, the Vice President would be in charge of breaking ties, which would give the advantage to the Democrats.
Results in Alaska are not finalized, but it is expected that Republicans continue holding their position in the Senate and that the state votes for Trump for the presidency. President-elect Biden will enter the presidency with an economy in crisis, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, and with a deeply divided country. We profoundly hope that his administration can overcome this crisis and can heal the division and negative partisanship that threaten the stability of the country.