After a tumultuous election season, the country’s 538 electors met Monday to formally cast their votes for the next President.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has officially surpassed the 270 votes needed to secure the presidency and is on his way to meet his projected total of 306 votes, defeating the incumbent President Trump. President-Elect Biden maintained his victory with votes from the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona.
“It was like waking up on Christmas morning!” says nursing major Sarah Feldman on the moment she realized Biden was set to become the next President. “Biden isn’t perfect, but I have a glimmer of hope for our future now, and hope he keeps his promise of uniting both parties. We are a nation divided and I believe the president should bring people together, not tear them apart.”
“I’m looking forward to the next four years as a stepping-stone to more progressive policies,” says Lizzy Bailey, a member of the Lipscomb chapter of democratic socialists. Bailey is relieved for Biden’s victory over Trump but remains hesitant on his policies. She says “I don’t expect a Biden administration to fulfill the American people’s needs. But on a social level, Trumps defeat makes America feel a little safer for minorities in my opinion…and we plan on holding Biden accountable in the same way we criticized Trump.”
Despite tensions throughout the country over unsupported claims of voter fraud and President Trump’s numerous court cases, the electoral process moved smoothly with little to no conflict. President Trump has yet to concede but the timer is running low for other Republicans who haven’t yet acknowledged Biden’s victory.
This Sunday, Tennessee’s sitting Senator, Republican Lamar Alexander told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “Everything before Monday is really a projection…If the president loses, and it appears that he will when the electors vote, he should put the country first, take pride in his accomplishments, congratulate Joe Biden and help him off to a good start.”
Jackson Hinkle, a Lipscomb Political Science major, expresses a similar view and expects an upcoming concession from Trump “I think Trump needs to concede. I expect him to, I don’t think he’s planning on not conceding or not leaving the White House when his term is over,”
“I also think he did what he could, and he fought it out in the courts and fought it out legally…I thought his legal team didn’t do a good job, but I wasn’t overly surprised by the outcome.”
Hinkle, a conservative, hopes for Trump to step away after his term and allow for newcomers in the Republican party, He says “Trump has done a great job of enthusiasm in his base and enthusiasm in the republican party, but while that aspect of what he’s done has been great, he’s very divisive and I’m not sure I’d vote for him in 2024…it would just seem like we’re holding on to the past and we’re not moving forward with new candidates.”
When it comes to president-elect Biden, Hinkle expresses hope and hesitancy for bipartisan relationships “I always hope that people will try to work together and you know, move forward together but honestly, I don’t see that happening. I mean our politics are still extremely polarized.”
In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden said in a live-streamed speech following his official victory. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And so, now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal.”
Lumination will continue to keep you updated in the events leading up to the January 20 Presidential Inauguration
Photo via PBS.org