Defending Democracy, News

Joe Biden wins the presidency (updated)

In the culmination to one of the most rancorous campaigns and excruciating vote counts in American history, former Vice President Joe Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States today.

With victory secured in his birth state of Pennsylvania by virtue of the size of his lead and analysis of the votes left to be counted, Biden now has an insurmountable lead in the Electoral College. Although multiple national news outlets have called the victory, President Donald Trump has yet to concede defeat.

Click here to be taken to States Newsroom Washington bureau reporter Laura Olson’s in-depth coverage of this story.

Policy Watch will continue to update this story as events — including reactions from across North Carolina — continue to develop.

UPDATE: Associated Press called the state of Nevada for Biden this morning as well. Click here for details.

Among the reactions starting to arrive from prominent North Carolinians:

From. Rev. Dr. William Barber, head of the national Poor People’s Campaign:

This is more than a victory for Biden and Harris. This is a victory for democracy. When all the votes are counted, some 80 million Americans will have voted to end the Trumpism politics of lies, greed and the lust for power. An unprecedented coalition of American people have said clearly, “We cannot go backwards. We are going forward together.”

People did not turnout in record numbers in the midst of a pandemic to vote for a return to normal. We have elected Biden and Harris to use the power of government to lift up those who have been battered by COVID-19, battered by poverty, and battered by years of Republican extremism. We can celebrate now for a moment, but we must go to work and make sure that  people can soon feel that their votes will result in policy change.

As I said to Vice President Biden when he was running, our hope is in the mourning. If his administration can answer the cries of mourning people with real, transformative policy that addresses systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of healthcare, it will indeed be a new day in America. If the new administration and Congress will challenge the war economy and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism and nativism, then we the people can believe again that this democracy will continue to be made a more perfect union. If this win is to be a victory for all of us, we must have a major political reconstruction.

From Congressman David Price:

This is a moment to celebrate — we unseated an unfit and dangerous President, elected our first female Vice President, and are on track to win the popular vote by a historic margin. I am proud of all of us for standing strong and making our voices heard. Your voice, your vote, and your dedication to our future helped make the difference.

The coming weeks won’t be easy. We know Trump will try to do everything he can to invalidate the results of this election. But the American people have already made their choice loud and clear: it’s time to move forward with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris leading the fight.

From Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality North Carolina:

Equality North Carolina joins you in celebrating the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, a reign of terror that left vulnerable Americans fearful for their lives and safety on a daily basis. Because of your hard work throughout this election cycle, LGBTQ Americans, Black and Brown folks, immigrants and folks from all marginalized backgrounds have the possibility of a brighter future on the horizon.

In particular, we’re celebrating Kamala Harris becoming Vice President-elect, a historic win as the first woman and woman of color to serve in the role

Joe and Kamala’s wins in no way will fix all of our problems. We’re still in the midst of a raging pandemic, unemployment remains at an all-time high and we’re facing a terrifying judicial makeup from the highest courts in the land all the way down. But at least for today, we can rest assured that leaders with our community’s best interests at heart will soon be governing from the highest office in the land, and Equality North Carolina will be working alongside them every step of the way.

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