Updated at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET
After days of nervously watching and waiting, the election results are finally in. Former Vice President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election with one of the closest margins in US history.
By winning his native state of Pennsylvania, it put Biden at 273 electoral votes, more than the required 270 to clinch the presidency. President Donald Trump remains at 214 electoral votes.
Biden also won the popular vote, with nearly 75 million votes, with 93% of the votes in.
The president-elect said during his victory speech Saturday night in Wilmington, DE that it’s time for unity, not further division.
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify. For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies, they’re our Americans. This is the time to heal in America,” he said.
Biden’s win means Oakland native Sen. Kamala Harris makes history as the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent on a major party presidential ticket. As a graduate of Howard University, Harris becomes the first graduate of a Historically Black College and University elected as vice president of the United States.
Vice President-Elect Harris said Biden was a “man with a big heart who loves with abandon.”
“Joe is a healer. a uniter, a tested and steady hand. A person whose own experience of loss gives him a sense of purpose that will help us as a nation reclaim our own sense of purpose,” she said.
Harris also thanked voters for sending a “clear message,” and for choosing “hope, and unity. decency, science, and yes, truth.”
“Congressman John Lewis, before his passing, wrote ‘democracy is not a state, it is an act.’ And what he meant is that America’s democracy is not guaranteed, it is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it and never take it for granted. And protecting our democracy takes struggle, it takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it, and there is progress because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. And when our very democracy was on the ballot this election, with the very soul of America at stake, and the world watching, you ushered in a new day for America,” she stressed.
As Trump loses his re-election bid, he joins a list of nine other presidents — including George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford — who voters didn’t elect for a second term.
In the last few days, Trump has attempted to stir unrest by calling the election fraudulent, calling the Supreme Court to stop the counting of ballots, and even going as far as filing lawsuits to block “illegal votes.”
However, these baseless accusations could not stop the process of democracy in action.
Young voters especially have taken to social media, posting updates on their thoughts on the delayed election results.
Campbell Pair, a 20-year-old Georgia native, who is currently attending Franklin University in Switzerland, said, “It was a struggle to wait this long for the results,” but that having patience has paid off.
Speaking from experience of living and voting abroad, Pair said Biden winning this election and Georgia going blue “has given me hope that the country is headed in the right direction.”
“Donald Trump has caused a significant amount of damage to our nation and our government, so I am ready for Joe Biden to step in and make changes we need to see in the United States and in some of the more conservative areas of the US such as many parts of Georgia,” she said.
Likewise, Maisha Hoque, a 25-year-old immigrant living in Maryland, said she’d been continuously “oscillating between being so numb from information over-consumption, and trying to absorb everything on the news channels.”
Although fearful of how Trump supporters will lash-out as a result of the outcome, Hoque said she is most looking forward to having the first female vice president. While she hasn’t always agreed with Harris’ record while she served as California’s attorney general, she sees this as a chance for women to “make history.”
“A close second for me is the hopes that the Biden Administration will dismantle the atrocious Trump policies that overwhelmingly impact minorities like myself. I think that will reestablish the US as a world leader in the future,” Hoque said.