Students poll in on the 2020 Presidential Election

On Nov. 3, millions of Americans were glued to their televisions as they anxiously awaited the results of the 2020 presidential election. Americans on both ends of the political spectrum were on the edges of their seats. For some, the idea of four more years of Donald Trump governing was total bliss; yet for others, another Trump term would have been nothing short of a living hell. There is no doubt that with the uncertainty of the election results as the counting of votes continued from Tuesday to Saturday morning, excessive amounts of stress and fear were common in most households. However, come Saturday Nov. 7, thousands of Americans woke up to the news that Joe Biden had reached 284 electoral college votes, surpassing the 270 votes a candidate needs to hold the title of President-elect. In addition, he won the popular vote by just over five million votes.

It would seem obvious that any candidate who received this amount of electoral college votes would be the clear winner. Everyone’s attention zoomed into the battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona because it seemed so close early on. In fact, in Wisconsin and Georgia, it was close enough that automatic recounts are taking place. Now that more of the votes have been counted, Biden’s lead has only grown. It is traditional for the losing candidate to make a concession speech and congratulate their opponent. However, the Trump administration and its supporters refuse to acknowledge Biden’s victory. Thus, numerous claims of invalidity have been made against Biden’s win. President Trump has posted several Tweets claiming that the large number of ballots that were mailed in this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, were invalid votes, and that the whole idea of his loss is a hoax. Trump has continued to Tweet, saying that big-city machines have stolen the election from him, and that he did indeed win a second term by a large number of votes. Trump supporters have been relentlessly insisting there is a legal battle to be had. Republican politicians Mitch McConell, Lindsey Graham, and Ted Cruz and many others have acknowledged Trump’s claims as legitimate and strongly support taking legal action. Some students, such as freshman Jack Baker, seem to agree that there is a need for legal action and are hesitant to call the election over:

“Biden declaring victory and pretty much everyone saying he’s president, I don’t think is accurate,” Baker said. “He’s definitely not the president yet, but I do think it’s fair to call him the projected winner. I think we have a long legal battle in front of us, and we are not really gonna know for a week or two at least.”

Others, like freshman Emersen Friedman, heavily disagree with the claims of fraud. They see a clear winner based on the electoral college votes, which were in favor of Biden.

“The election is definitely over; it was fair and square, I think the president and his supporters are just being sore losers,” freshman Emersen Friedman said.

Many, regardless of party association, agree with Friedman’s view.
One cannot help but wonder what the President’s claims of a fraudulent election will lead to, if anything at all. Even right-wing news sources like Fox have acknowledged Biden’s victory. It seems unlikely any court would legitimately accept the President’s claim since there is no evidence of wrongdoing. A handful of lawsuits have already been rejected in court for having no legal basis. In the meantime, people across the country have been celebrating in Biden’s name, and even countries abroad seem exhilarated to see a new president is not far from taking office.

“I feel more comfortable identifying as an American now,” Friedman said. “I had no comfort with it when Trump was in office. … Now that Biden is going to be inaugurated, I feel better about it. … and it’s so great for a woman of color to be the first female vice president in office.”

The issues in this election, like climate change and racial injustice, are close to the hearts of many high school students, and will affect their futures. Some CHS students were actively involved, working at polling centers and other volunteering in other ways. It is hard to say what will happen with Trump’s claims between now and January. For now the majority of Americans are happy with the outcome of this historic election, which gave Joe Biden a record-breaking 76 million votes as well as the title of President-elect.