NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

America in the aftermath: Unpacking the outcome of the 2020 election

The 2020 election finally came to an end on Nov. 7, four days after Election Day. It was called by the Associated Press, and all other large election desks. Needless to say, the buildup to the final result was extremely intense. In the end, it came down to a few states, mainly Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and North Carolina. Going off of the Associated Press, Former Vice President Biden managed to flip Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, which led him to victory. He and Kamala Harris are now the President elect and the Vice President elect respectively.

After the election was called, people all over the country took to the streets in celebration. Supporters of incumbent President Donald Trump were not so happy, however.

Since the beginning of the election, Trump has been warning about voter fraud. So, after the election was called in favor of Biden, he continued to dispute the results, and still has yet to concede.

He and his campaign are arguing that the election was fraudulent and corrupt, despite there being no obvious evidence of this.

Even so, many Republican officials are agreeing with President Trump. Trump has filed lawsuits in many of the states where Biden won and there is a recount in the state of Georgia, which Biden pulled ahead in. A Biden lead in Georgia, albeit small, was and is quite shocking, as the state has remained red, but the flipping to blue is not necessarily a result of voter fraud. In fact, it can probably be attributed to people like Stacy Abrams, who rallied and encouraged everyone to vote, and dedicated their time to this important cause.

Both Stephen Russell and Nancy Montello felt voting was extremely important for everyone, and they are happy to see that it paid off.

Nancy Montello, who is 71 years old as of today, from West Newbury, was relieved when the election was finally called. She felt like a weight was lifted off of her shoulders.

“I felt happy and joyous,” She said. “And now I feel hopeful for the country. I think we have a chance to rebuild ourselves, and to become better.”

Montello admits that she did not follow state to state results. She was worried about what the outcome would be, so she decided to step back from the computer and the T.V. She was shocked by Trump’s claims of voter fraud, and of his refusal to concede.

“I absolutely agree with the outcome of the election.” Montello said. “I think the only reason Trump is undermining the results is so he can feel better about himself and the mess he has made.”

Montello is still a bit apprehensive of what Trump will do with the time he remains in office.

“I’m afraid he will push for negative changes during the next two months,” she admits. “He’s technically not out of office until January.”

Montello was surprised that Biden did not win by a bigger margin. It shocked her that so many people still supported Trump, despite his abrasiveness and narcissistic tendencies. She did understand that many people had only voted for Biden because he wasn’t Trump.

“They didn’t necessarily think he was the best candidate,” she said. “They just thought he was the better of the two. People weren’t extremely excited about him, but they did pull together.”

The average Trump voter is still a mystery to her. Montello does not understand what continues to draw people to Trump. She just knows that somehow people continue to believe in him, and he manages to get them to come out and vote.

Professor Stephen Russell, from NECC, had been worried about the potential outcome. He followed the election closely, and had been stressed out about what another four years of Trump could do to the country.

“I was skeptical of the polls that predicted a Biden victory,” he said. “ I was following the election pretty closely. I was surprised that Biden won. I was especially surprised about Georgia and Arizona.”

Russell believes the election was fair and just, was run in an extremely professional way, more so than any other election until now.

“Trump’s claims of fraud are totally incorrect.” Russell disputes. “His supporters are using this to get his base excited about the Senate run-off in Georgia. Trump himself is fantasizing and looking for a way out of debt and criminal persecution.”

Russell is unsure if the election proves that American citizens can come together. In fact, he sees the election as proving that the two sides are able to obtain lots of support by pulling away from each other and going in opposite directions. To Russell, the fact that Trump is able to pull so many is an ode to the fact that many people are distrustful of Democrats and liberals in general. These supporters really believe that under Biden, things will be worse for them. They believe Biden will not pay attention to what they find important.

Montello also believes that this election highlighted the widening divide in our country, rather than show how we can come together.

“Trump still has a big following despite what he has done. People still support him. It shows what people are willing to disregard.” Montello said. “Our country is still divided.”