Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are headed to the White House

(The Guardian)

By Patrick Forrest

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been elected the President and Vice President of the United States following an extended period of vote counting due to the increase in mailed in ballots.

While many media outlets were able to project winners in several states Tuesday night, a number of battleground states showed a lead for President Donald Trump before the mail-in ballots were counted.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia and Alaska were all still labeled as either too close, or too early to call by the end of Election Day, Tuesday night.

As former Vice President Biden apparently began to overtake President Trump in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, three of the states credited for his win in 2016, President Trump’s concern about losing the election became clear. He began to complain on Twitter that the counting of votes should stop.

“STOP THE COUNT!” Trump tweeted in all capital letters.

“ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!” he added in a tweet that was soon after flagged by Twitter for misinformation.

Despite the loud complaining from his opponent, Biden continued to ask for patience from his supporters, attempting to reassure them of what many had felt for months prior to the election.

“So I ask everyone to stay calm, all the people to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said in a televised address Thursday night, two days after the conclusion of voting and before an apparent winner was announced.

Following the announcement of Biden’s victory late Saturday morning the new President-elect shared a message with supporters, announcing a prime time address to the nation.

“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America,” Biden said in the emailed message to supporters. “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.”

The joy felt by many in Trump’s defeat was evident in the spontaneous celebrations that sprung up nationwide following the official announcement by news outlets of the Biden victory. Many also celebrated the historic occasion of Harris, a woman of Black and Indian heritage, ascending to the vice presidency.

“Regardless of our political preference,” executive director for the progressive organization, the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership, Michael Okincyzc-Cruz, said in a statement, “We can agree that there is great significance in Kamala Harris’ election to the office of Vice Presidency, as the first Black and Asian American woman in Office.”

It was feared that Harris’ record as a prosecutor in the state of California might turn away some Black males or younger progressive voters. Now that she and Biden have received more votes than any duo seeking the office of President and Vice President in the history of the country, it is becoming clearer, that may not have been the case.

“Today is a victory for all Americans who rejected hatred and stood on the side of democracy and equity by ousting Trump and his dangerous agenda that has threatened our nation,” Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery said in a statement.

“Americans stepped up during a pandemic and participated in democracy by breaking voting records. We celebrate a new beginning for our country where facts, decency, and civility will be the standard once again.”

At this time Biden and Harris have won four states that were won by Donald Trump in the 2016 election, including the proverbial “blue wall” of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. They hold leads as well in the traditionally Republican states of Arizona and Georgia.

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