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Length of ballot count process strainsalready tense rivalries among voters

Maps courtesy 270 to Win

Joe Biden was named the 46th President on Saturday, Nov. 7. The call doesn't come without its fair share of strain and questioning if the results are valid. The maps illustrated above show different results from decades past, just going to show how our country has flip-flopped between the parties.

By Chadwick Dolgos

-2020 Elections-

On Saturday morning Nov. 7, after four nights of anxiously waiting for results, former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the 46th President of the United States by the Associated Press and others. The announcement came moments after Pennsylvania completed their final ballot counts, granting President-Elect Biden enough electoral votes to achieve the presidency.

“It really gives me hope and confidence that the generation coming to be is more educated and creating a stance on what is right and wrong,” said Neville Island resident Deanna Carter, moments after Biden secured his victory.

While President Donald Trump had a strong presence on election night, Biden enjoyed a boost in votes once mail-in ballots were added to the mix.

“This victory is joyful knowing we now have hope to maintain the coronavirus,” said Carter, adding, “Minorities can be reassured there is someone who is not actively against them.”

The election drew the largest voter turnout in the country’s history, with more than 146 million votes cast. While more than 141,709 votes were cast for Biden in Allegheny County than Trump, residents from our readership area share mixed emotions regarding the election

“All election integrity is gone after this,” said Sam Hunt, resident of Neville Island. Hunt’s concerns echo those heard across the country by Republican voters outraged with how the results were reported.

Trump supporters remained hopeful throughout election night, only to wake up to a bluer electoral map once states began counting mail-in ballots.

“I think it is interesting that Republicans won on Election Day and then the mail-ins disproportionately appeared for Democrats in Pennsylvania,” said Danny DeVito, Republican candidate for state representative in PA’s 45th district.

DeVito, who was defeated by incumbent Rep. Anita Kulik by more than 8,500 votes, told Gazette 2.0 that he will not be making a formal concession, but will accept the results of the election once all legal votes are counted.

“I probably will not give her the courtesy of a concession since she was nasty the entire race and refused to debate or acknowledge any of our prior communications,” he said.

Jared Walters of Robinson shares similar concerns to those voiced by DeVito. “I think it’s a little suspicious how overnight there were like 140,000 votes for Biden in Wisconsin and Michigan.”

Walters noted that major news networks such as Fox News and the Associated Press may have called some states too early.

“They should not have called Arizona early like that,” he said, adding that, “Trump could flip Arizona and Nevada, and go on to win Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia.”

Both Pennsylvania and Georgia reported vote counts favoring Biden early morning Friday Nov. 6. Nevada and Arizona showed Biden leading the day following the election.

While the President’s supporters held on and hoped the final results would flip in Trump’s favor, many readers in our area just wanted the election to be over.

Less concerned with voter fraud and election integrity, Josh Linner of Coraopolis said, “What does seem suspicious is the amount of time the American people are forced to wait for results.”

Linner argued that the people deserve to know who their next president will be, especially after all the obstacles they’ve faced this year. “After everything that has happened this entire year, from coronavirus to civil injustice, and protests to [the election], it just seems to be adding fuel to the fire.”

More readers from the area waited anxiously as the results from the election remained in limbo.

“I think, like most Americans, [I would have liked] it to move faster, said Coraopolis resident Cailie Betz.

The last time the American people had to wait this long for election results was in 2000, when former Vice President Al Gore and former President George Bush squared off in a highly contested election that resulted in a decisive Supreme Court ruling.

“By this time last election, we knew who our president was,” said Parker Sherry, resident of Crafton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned Trump at 2:35 a.m. congratulating him on his victory the morning after the 2016 election. She made her formal concession speech just before noon the same day.

While waiting may be the hardest part, Marissa Mckee of Neville Island urged people to remain patient.

“As long as everyone keeps following the rules and protocols, that’s all we can do is wait, she said. "These things should take time, and, regardless of the outcome, my life will still go on just as it did my whole life."

All eyes remained on Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona in the days following the election. Pennsylvania law-makers allowed for ballots postmarked by election day to be received until 5:00 p.m., Friday, Nov. 6, three days following election day.

Pennsylvania’s announcement pushed Biden over the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.

Trump, who enjoyed a major lead in Pennsylvania early on, saw his chances at the state’s electoral votes slowly slip from his grasps as more mail-in ballots were counted.

“Pennsylvania pushing the deadline back, in my opinion, shouldn’t have happened,” said Walters.

While Walters expressed concern with how late ballots can be received, DeVito acknowledged another complaint being voiced by those opposing election integrity in Pennsylvania. “It is completely ridiculous that ballots can be counted with no postmark and a mismatched signature.”

Democratic candidates including Congressman Conor Lamb urged the public to wait until after all votes were counted before celebrating. Lamb declared victory over his opponent Sean Parnell the night following the election after a New York Times vote count had Lamb leading Parnell by 4,457 votes.

Lamb defended his seat and was officially declared the winner on Saturday, Nov. 7, making him a second-term congressman.

While Biden achieved enough electoral votes to become President, along with winning the popular vote, Trump has threatened to demand a recount in Wisconsin and hopes to challenge ballots cast and the legitimacy of the electoral process in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan.

“We have to trust that, in the end, those who we put in office will have our best interests in mind,” Mckee said. “Change happens one small step at a time.”


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