by Ashleigh Owens, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.
The American people shared their voice in the 2020 election on Tuesday, November 3rd."American flag and vintage clock with calendar showing 2020 election date" by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0
2020 has been a year of patience and uncertainty, and the 2020 U.S. election has proved to be no exception to that. Joe Biden and Donald Trump faced off for the presidency in a historic and tense race for the office. While the results are not yet final and states such as Arizona and Georgia have not been called and recounts are a possibility in others, Joe Biden has been projected as the 46th U.S. president with a current lead of 279 (Biden) to 217 (Trump). This is a notable election because Trump will be only the 11th incumbent U.S. president to lose re-election. There was also some less surprising election news. Democrats have kept their majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans are poised to keep their majority in the Senate. To earn a majority in the House 218 seats are needed and the current results are 218 (D) to 203 (R), however Republicans have actually gained seats in this election. In the Senate, 51 seats are needed for a majority. The current results are 50 (R) to 48 (D) and there are two important run off elections in Georgia this January that will determine control of the Senate. If a 50/50 tie occurs, VP elect Kamala Harris would be the person to cast a tie-breaking vote.
Although the race was called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Saturday, November 7th, President Trump has still not conceded and has made allegations of widespread voter fraud, claiming the election was stolen from him. He has refused to allow certain aspects of the transition process to take place and many Republicans in office have yet to acknowledge Joe Biden and president-elect, although some influential Republican voices have. To learn some more about this, The Jaguar Times talked to social studies teacher Mr. Bleh. When asked about if the election was fair or fraudulent he explained that “[he] think[s] it was smooth, states leader had predicted it would take time to count all the legal votes and that is exactly what happened. [He] trust[s] the integrity of our elections because every state runs its own election and has public servants from both parties overseeing the counting and recounting of ballots.” He also stated that “we are now one week from the election and neither party has uncovered evidence of large scale voter fraud that would tip the separate 51 elections that took place on Nov 3rd. It is within Trump's rights to try and uncover fraud, but states will begin certifying their results in mid-November and at that point [he] would hope [Trump] will concede.” He also shared that he was impressed by the Trump campaign’s win in Florida, a very close swing state, and the Biden campaign taking back the “blue wall” of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. He is confident in our country’s ability to have a smooth transition of power, but says “people need to rethink the use of social media for getting and sharing news however. The lack of oversight and extent of misinformation is disturbing and alarming for our future politics.” We will see how everything plays out in the near future, but we all must have confidence in our country’s systems and be mindful of the information we consume.
Students also have a lot to say about the election. Rosie Cornell (12) turned 18 shortly before this election and was a first time voter. She explained that she decided to vote for Joe Biden because [he] "cares a lot about the people of the United States. He cares about the backbone of the country, the middle class people!” However, this election was not just about Joe Biden. Having the first woman of color, Kamala Harris, as the VP-elect meant something to a lot of Americans. Rosie shared that “it is so special to [her]! Being a woman, and being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it makes me feel secure!” Another student, Feras Akileh (12), agrees and adds “this will show little girls of all backgrounds that there is no limit to what they can do.” He also explained his opinion on the celebrations that broke out around the country after Biden was projected as the next president by saying “[he] thinks they’re so cute and [he] loves the diversity.” Representation is important and we should all acknowledge the historical nature of this moment.
Overall, the 2020 election was a divisive and often stressful event for our country. For those of you who voted, thank you! Your voice is important and the staff at The Jaguar Times would like to encourage everyone who can to vote in future elections. Let us take this opportunity to come together as Americans and work with each other to create positive change. Be kind to yourself and to others after a hard few months, we all deserve it!