The 2020 Presidential Election is arguably the most anticipated election in the United States’ history. Election day was slowly turned into Election week as states continued to count votes, unable to announce a winner for an agonizing period of time. When the Associated Press finally called the 2020 Presidential Election for Joseph R. Biden, reactions were mixed. While allies of the President claimed that the election was rigged and so all results were inaccurate, Democratic leaders celebrated their victory (306 electoral votes). This election has led to some monumental moments in US history. With the highest voter turnout in US history, Biden accumulated the most votes of any Presidential candidate. Kamala Harris, the Vice President-elect, will not only be the first woman but also the first Asian, black, and bi-racial elected to the executive office. Although the results of the election are a reflection of all American voters, this victory was possible partly due to the Americans who had the most to lose.
While Biden and Harris were campaigning, many other groups were doing their part to push the duo through the finish line. Biden, who went on to win the state of Georgia, was leading in a state not having voted for a Democratic nominee since 1992. Much of this success is credited to Stacey Abrams and networks of Georgian activists. Stacey Abrams, who lost the race for governor of Georgia in 2018 by 55,000 votes, created a campaign dedicated to helping people vote and ended up registering more than 800,000 new voters, most of them being young people of color. This enormous registration effort made Biden’s victory in Georgia possible.
In Arizona, where the last democratic nominee won in 1996, the state went to Biden because of two enormous turnout efforts targeting two different groups of people. Indigenous people, who account for around 6% of the state’s electorate (424,955 people as of 2018), went to great lengths to vote. Nearly all the Indigenous areas of Arizona had voted for Biden, showing a 116% increase in voter turnout compared to the 2016 election. In addition to the Indigenous votes, Arizona’s growing Latino population also helped Biden secure the state. Facing heavy discrimination in the past years, Latino voters showed up to polls in historic numbers. Organizations and campaigns such as UnidosUS helped register thousands of new voters, pushing through thousands of new votes, a majority of them going to Biden.
This historic win by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris wouldn’t have been possible without the help of minority Americans. Black, Indigenous, Latino, and many other minorities worked hard to make sure that Biden and Harris would win this election. These historically marginalized groups are working to ensure a better future for not only them but all Americans. This year has been especially hard on minority Americans. The tension and frustration that was building up after years of fighting police brutality finally exploded into multiple protests and riots across the country. While black Americans were fighting an institution that was stripping away their rights as Americans and people, Asian Americans have also been facing heavy discrimination. With the first recorded case of COVID-19 in China, an increasing amount of hate crimes have been focused on Asian Americans. These instances of discrimination and divide, have pushed citizens to fight for a change in leadership. Institutions have been challenged, authority has been questioned, and the strength of the American people has been repeatedly tested. As the election results show, we are the ones who have the power to decide what we want our country to stand for and what our future will look like. As we go through this change in leadership, it is important to remember that we must continue fighting, for ourselves, our neighbors, and our country.