Annie Deitz, Campus Carrier managing editor
Taylor Corley, Campus Carrier editor-in-chief
On Nov. 7, four days after Election Day 2020, major media platforms projected that former Vice President Joe Biden had earned 284 electoral votes, effectively predicting him to be the 46th President of the United States.
The Republican nominee, President Donald Trump, had obtained 214 electoral college votes on Saturday morning. Biden ultimately was projected as winning the state of Pennsylvania, pushing him past the 270 electoral college votes needed to claim the election.
“I didn’t know this until after this election but technically, Joe Biden is not president elect even though people are saying that,” sophomore Case Winkler said. “He is not simply for the fact that the electoral college has not voted. If Joe Biden was the one who got a majority of the votes I don’t think there’s anything the courts will do to overturn that, but I do feel like they are going to fight for every legal ballot that was cast to be accounted for like the President has said.”
The news of the projected president elect has given rise to a variety of responses. Winkler explains that while he identifies as a Republican, he is hopeful that whichever candidate is inaugurated in January will be best for the country.
“If Biden does become president elect I hope he does the best job,” Winkler said. “I’m not someone who hopes he fails just to prove a point, I’d be stupid to say that.”
Those who identify more with the leftist political beliefs, such as freshman Jazmine Ridlehoover, who voted for Biden, were relatively pleased with the results.
“The new president and vice president that are upcoming, although they don’t follow all of the ideals that I have, I at least feel like they’re more open to change, and to listening to the people,” Ridlehoover said. “I feel more comfortable knowing that even though Biden isn’t fully on my same viewpoints, at least there’s compromise to be made.”
Ridlehoover explains that she was encouraged to see Georgia, the state in which she resides and votes, ultimately swinging blue and providing more electoral votes for Biden.
”I was counting on my own state, I’m from Georgia, I was worried since even though we have really big urban areas that are voting blue, I was worried we still wouldn’t get the vote,” Ridlehoover said. “It was very comforting to wake up in the morning and know that we won, and that I have a little more comfort in my future.”
Sophomore Haven Hendrix also lives and votes in Georgia. While she voted for Biden, she generally identifies as an independent and is registered as a Republican. She explained that she believed that his presidency might change the national political system to be more traditional.
“We’re getting a little bit back to normalcy to some degree,” Hendrix said. “Joe Biden is like the most normal candidate you could have. I find some comfort in that.”
According to the Georgia Secretary of State, Georgia experienced significantly higher levels of voter turnout across demographics than in any election in recent history. Jim Watkins, associate professor of English, worked as a poll watcher on Election Day. He explained that he was heartened to see so many voters, and so many who announced that they were voting for the first time.
“It [Election Day] was exciting, exhilarating and stressful,” Watkins said. “I was a poll watcher at one of the local precincts. It was a rural area. It was a whole lot of people saying they were voting for the first time. It wasn’t necessarily great from my partisan perspective, it was a white, rural area, which isn’t necessarily a democrat, which I am.”
As of Wednesday night, Biden has over 77 million popular votes and 290 electoral college votes, and President Trump stands at under 72 million popular votes with 217 electoral college votes.
No candidates were able to receive more than 50% of the popular vote in the Georgia election for the two open Senate seats. Because of that, the two seats will go to runoff elections, one between Democratic nominee Raphael Warnock and incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler, and the other between Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff and Republican incumbent David Perdue. The winners of these two elections will determine the Senate party majority.
“I mean Georgia will decide the majority of the Senate and that is extreme,” Winkler said. “We are fixing to see millions of dollars poured into this state on the election campaign…the whole republican party and the whole democratic party will be pouring in millions and millions of dollars into the state to try and get their respective candidates elected.”
Ridlehoover expresses her excitement for the Senate runoff elections, as she explains, the potential of having more progressive Senators from a traditionally Republican state would more adequately represent the political beliefs of people like her.
“There’s always this worry that if you’re a progressive in the South you’ll never get heard, but I feel like at least some people are changing their minds and I like to see it,” Ridlehoover said.
As individual states begin to certify their presidential election results, and as the Senate runoff election season continues into 2021, Watkins explained it is vital for students to keep a diverse and trustworthy news diet.
“I hope that our students are looking at reliable news sources and not just drawing on one particular news source that supports their partisan views,” Watkins said. “That’s one thing that I’ve been talking about with my students a lot, to diversify your news sources and make sure you’re looking at how various news platforms, particularly various newspapers, get a good balanced perspective.”
The runoff elections for the two Senate seats are scheduled to occur on Jan. 5. States are supposed to finish certifying their election results throughout the month of November, and Electoral College electors will be casting their votes on Dec. 14.