By Saturday morning, former vice president Joseph Biden received enough votes in Pennsylvania to put him over the top and win the presidency. Though a few states like Georgia are headed for an official recount, Biden surpassed the 270 Electoral College vote threshold.
Despite losing the contest, Trump falsely declared victory as early as Wednesday morning. Alarmed by his tactics, several New York City lawmakers gathered in front of Barclays Center later that day to condemn the president’s actions and stress the need to count every vote.
“Any declaration of victory by the current occupation of the White House is baseless, flawed and irresponsible,” said Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. “At the end of the day, the integrity of our democracy depends on the people deciding who gets to serve at the seat of power at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Jeffries correctly predicted that Biden would win both the Electoral College count and the popular vote. As of Monday, Biden was leading Trump by more than four million votes nationwide. Trump has not yet conceded the race, and will pursue several legal challenges contesting the results.
“We will not allow Donald Trump to steal this election,” he said. “He has no credibility when it comes to claiming that someone else is stealing the election, when the evidence on record is questionable with respect to his own conduct over the last several years.
“Respect the integrity of our democracy and the peaceful transition of power,” Jeffries added, “so once and for all we can heal this nation and move forward toward a more perfect union.”
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke urged her constituents in Brooklyn to “take a deep breath” and allow the democratic process get to a final conclusion. She also blasted Trump for prematurely claiming victory.
“We are being antagonized by a man who will stop at nothing to steal this election,” she said. “We have a highly irresponsible, inept individual in the White House who continues to stoke fear and racism as a means to his end of trying to maintain power as an authoritarian in our nation.”
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez said she wanted to remind Trump, a Queens native, that the voters get to decide who the winner of the race is, not the president.
She noted that over the last four years, Trump has “done everything to undermine our democratic institutions.”
“We have seen this movie before,” she said. “It is our responsibility to make sure that in this country we respect the right of every voter for their vote to be counted.”
State Senator Zellnor Myrie, who chairs the State Senate’s Elections Committee, compared democracy to a test.
“You prepare, you study, you do your homework, you sit for the test and then you have to wait,” he said.
He noted that more Americans have turned out to vote in this election than any other election in his lifetime. According to reports, more than 149 million Americans voted in the 2020 election, representing nearly 62 percent of all eligible voters.
“Democracy is imperfect, but it is alive and kicking,” he said. “So wait and ensure that every single vote is counted.”
When sufficient mail-in ballots were counted, races in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were called, making Biden the 46th president of the United States.