After five days of counting votes, Vice President Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump Saturday as the 46th President of the U.S., prompting some students to breathe a “sigh of relief” after hearing the results.
As of Tuesday, Biden has received 290 electoral votes, according to the Associated Press.
Kyle Johnson, junior political science major, said the outcome of the presidential election was a good first step to making the U.S. a more safe and united country.
“The purpose of a leader is to unite the people you’re leading and not cause more friction and distance between groups,” Johnson said. “I think seeing how both of them are the oldest presidents in history, this should speak to the young people that it’s time to get more politically involved.”
Young people have historically been known to head to the polls in low numbers, however, this wasn’t the case this year. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement reported that as of Nov. 6, 49% to 51% of voting-eligible young people cast a ballot in the 2020 election.
Eli Brottman, president of NIU’s College Democrats, said the organization was overjoyed by last week’s historic presidential election and that it was a critical step toward unity, fairness and equality for the nation.
“While we are disappointed by the results of some of the local elections, the dedication of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to the well-being of Americans – of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, political views, you name it – will play the most important role in the growth that will take place over the next four years,” Brottman said.
As of Tuesday, in DeKalb County, Biden was the apparent winner with 51.4% of the votes and Trump with 45.7% of the votes, according to the DeKalb County election site.
Reece Mendicino, vice president for NIU’s Young American’s for Liberty, said Trump outperformed many people’s expectations. He said he hopes Libertarians and Democrats can work together in the future to promote criminal justice reform, police reform and an end to the “disastrous” war on drugs.
“As both Biden’s and Harris’ past actions that have contributed to the current state of politics, which were both manifested in Biden’s 1994 Crime Bill and Harris’ time as a DA, which has seen a dismissal of America’s most vulnerable communities starved of their most basic liberties,” Mendocino said. “To many in our Young Americans for Liberty chapter, these two candidates represent the regressive and opportunist nature of D.C. establishment politicians.”
Maricarmen Paniagua, a transfer computer science major, said she wasn’t surprised by how long it’s taking to count the ballots. Paniagua said she expected Republicans to portray Democrats as “rioting” after Trump lost.
“Part of me thinks the U.S. and its individualism wasn’t the right environment for progressive change,” Paniagua said. “I truly think there is no way back, we are in too deep. The peaceful United States I grew up in ended with Obama. It will always be tense and walking on eggshells from either side from now on.”