NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After months of heated public debate, the Electoral College officially voted in favor of Joe Biden, in a move that will make him the 46th President of the United States.
Biden, a former Senator from Delaware and Vice President, had a decisive victory over incumbent Donald Trump, leading by 74 electoral votes and 7 million individual votes in the November 3 general election.
The electoral college is the unusual system the United States uses to elect its President. States are assigned a number of electoral college votes based on their population, and in all but two states, the candidate who wins the most votes in that state takes all of the electoral college votes for that state.
A presidential candidate needs to win a simple majority of electoral college votes to be the winner. That number is 270, just over half of the 538 total electoral college votes nationwide.
The election was historic for many reasons, including the winner of the Vice Presidential seat, California Senator Kamala Harris.
Central New Jersey has one of the highest proportions of Indian Americans in the United States.
For them and many others, the appointment of vice-president elect Kamala Harris, a Black and Indian-American woman, was major breakthrough.
Middlesex County is one of the most diverse places in New Jersey, with a rich diversity of thought stemming from marked differences in race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, and economic status.
The Middlesex County Democratic Organization celebrated the victory, which became apparent November 7, calling it a “landmark day in our nation’s history.”
“It is also the day that we can finally show our daughters that, with the election of Kamala Harris, a woman finally has a seat at the most important table in the world. It tells our communities of color that they are co-equal partners in our national enterprise,” reads the statement.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will lead our nation to a bright future. We will be their partners every step of the way.”
But the win did not become official until the Electoral College members cast their votes on Decmember 14.
Members of New Jersey’s Electoral College met at the State House in Trenton to deliver their final result. As expected, all fourteen electors voted for Joe Biden.
In State Houses across the country, electors delivered the final verdict: a 306-232 victory for Biden over Trump.
Trump’s term in office was defined by many controversies and much division. In December 2019, he became only the third President in United States history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
His administration was also known for being stanchly anti-immigrant, and many of the controversies revolved around human rights abuses at the border and in federal detention facilities.
Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is also widely seen as a reason for his defeat.
He admitted in an interview that he purposely downplayed the severity of the crisis, and he ignored the advice of leading scientists by encouraging his supporters not to wear masks and referring to the virus as a “hoax.”
Trump was also criticized for his cozy relationships with foreign leaders such as Vladimir Putin or Russia, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Rodrigo Duterte of the Phillipines.
At home, he frequently terminated his staff members for disagreeing with him. In less than four years, he went through four different Chiefs of Staff, four press secretaries, and five heads of the Department of Homeland Security, five heads of Health and Human Services, and six Secretaries of Defense.
After six weeks of denial and dozens of lawsuits seeking to challenge the election results, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally congratulated president-elect Biden on his Electoral College win.
But Trump has refused to concede defeat in the election, claiming to be the true winner without any substantial evidence.
New Jersey, the state with the nation’s 11th highest population, has fourteen electoral votes. Fifty-seven percent of New Jersey voters chose Biden and 41% of them chose Trump, giving all fourteen electoral votes to Biden.
New Jersey has cast its electoral votes for the Democratic presidential candidate every year since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992.
Middlesex County, in particular, has leaned towards the Democratic Party with 60% of voters supporting Biden and 38% of voters supporting Trump.
In New Brunswick, Joe Biden enjoyed an extremely high margin of support from those who did vote, but turnout in the City was very low.
Of the 9,433 Hub City voters who cast ballots in the election, almost 81% selected Biden, while just over 17% backed Trump, and 149 city residents voted for other candidates on the ballot. Thirty-seven wrote in a choice.
Still, about 83% of New Brunswick residents did not or could not vote, making for the lowest resident participation rate of any of the 25 towns in Middlesex County. Only US citizens over age 18 can register to vote.
There are many factors that influence voter turnout including age (older people vote more), socio-economic status (wealthier voters turn out more), gender (women vote at higher levels than men).
New Brunswick has the lowest median age of any municipality in the county, just 23.5 years according to data from the US Census.
Along with New Brunswick, Highland Park, Plainsboro, Piscataway, and Perth Amboy had the greatest shares of Biden supporters, with huge margins of victory for the Democrat.
Meanwhile, Trump got more votes than Biden in Spotswood, Helmetta, South Amboy, Middlesex Borough, Milltown, and Old Bridge.
Despite the results, Donald Trump and over 100 prominent figures in the Republican Party have been denying and fighting to overturn the results for over six weeks.
Biden and Harris are set to be sworn into office on January 20.