The District of Columbia and Maryland voted overwhelmingly Democratic with returns showing support for Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris as the nation’s first female, African American and Asian Vice President. Democrat Ralph Northam retains his seat as governor in Virginia, a state that also elected Joe Biden. Locally, Nov. 3 was a great day for voters, but more importantly, it was a great night for democracy in America.
Millions of voters from across the U.S. voted early, and a substantial number went to the polls on Election Day, resulting in the highest voter turnout in U.S. history. Despite a pandemic, COVID-19 helped add a new chapter to the history of voting in America, and the huge turnout shows Americans will vote if the process is convenient. Yet, African Americans have demonstrated their determination to go to the polls despite inconvenience and threats on their lives. It means that much to them.
What will be the mandate voters deliver to the President-elect that should lead his agenda over the next four years? Is it the healing of America to bring both sides of the political divide together to address the country’s crises? Is it the reduction of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus? Is it the rebuilding of the economy and creating jobs and support for businesses – large and small? Is it the passage of a stimulus bill to reinvigorate the economy and help meet the needs of Americans on the brink? Or is it the redesign of Obamacare to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable healthcare and reducing the cost of prescription drugs? Will there be a new crime bill that addresses police reform and provides effective mental health services? And what will be America’s standing in the world; will we build bridges or build walls?
Americans have voted. Their voices have been heard.