Trump sits in a chair surrounding by a house on fire mimicking a meme where a cartoon dog says "this is fine" while sitting in a chair in a burning building.
Illustration by Amelia Madarang

After days-long wait for vote counts, Joe Biden declared president-elect

On Nov. 7, Joe Biden was declared the president-elect by several news outlets, with CNN calling it first at 11:24 a.m. EST. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris then addressed the nation from Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware, celebrating their victory and outlining their vision for the nation. Biden is projected to win both the Electoral College and the popular vote.

The 2020 general election is set to be one of the most historic presidential races in the U.S. This election recorded the most mail-in ballots and the highest amount of early voting ever, all taking place during a pandemic. President-elect Joe Biden won the most votes of any presidential nominee in U.S. history. 

President Donald Trump has yet to accept the results of the election and alleges voter fraud and that Trump election observers were turned away without any evidence. On Nov. 7 at 7:36 a.m. Trump tweeted “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” The Trump campaign has filed numerous lawsuits against the crucial electoral states of Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. As of now, the lawsuits have been quickly dismissed without any impact on the vote count. Attorney General Bill Barr plans to conduct a Department of Justice probe into “substantial allegations” of voter fraud. 

Election Day was Nov. 3, though several critical swing states such as Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona were still counting ballots in the days following. Oregon allowed mail-in ballots in previous elections, so the state had the infrastructure necessary to obtain rapid results during the election in comparison to other states.

In Oregon, the state’s seven electoral votes went to Biden, with 57.53% of the popular vote. In Multnomah County, Biden won 79.9% of the vote. This was expected; Portland is one of the most consistently Democratic cities in the country. 

Oregon had one U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley and Republican Jo Rae Perkins. Merkley won by 57.7% of the vote. The race was controversial, as Perkins is a supporter of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory. This conspiracy theory alleges that politicians, primarily Democrats, are Satan-worshipping pedophiles who are plotting against Trump. As of now, the U.S. Senate majority is undetermined until Jan. 5 when the state of Georgia’s run-off elections takes place. 

Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer won the race for the U.S. House of Representatives in Oregon’s third congressional district against Republican candidate Johanna Harbour. Blumenauer overwhelmingly won by 75.25%.. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to maintain a Democratic majority.

As the world anticipated the election results, protests took place in downtown Portland. The Portland area was on high alert, as Gov. Kate Brown J.D. ’85 declared a state of emergency and deployed the Oregon National Guard due to anticipated violence. This marks the first time in 50 years that the National Guard has stepped foot in the city as a means of crowd control, according to the Oregon Military Department. In the coming days, fear is on the rise that right-wing groups will enter the city and instigate violence. According to the research group MilitiaWatch, Oregon is one of five states expected to have the highest threat of militia activity. 

On the night of Nov. 4, racial justice protestors gathered at the Revolution Hall in Southwest Portland.  Other anarchist protesters vandalized downtown buildings and destroyed windows. Saint André Bessette Church, Hoxton Hotel and women’s clothing store Wildfang all sustained damage. On Nov. 5, Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler denounced the acts. Portland law enforcement agencies reported a dozen arrests during the overnight protests downtown. 

Another protest occurred in North Portland at Commissioner Dan Ryan’s home after a vote cutting $18 million in funds to Portland Police Bureau failed to pass. Some protesters threw garden pots at the house windows and lit flares on the property.

On Nov. 7, cars with Biden-Harris flags paraded the streets of downtown Portland. Hundreds of people gathered around Pioneer Courthouse Square celebrating the Biden victory. A Black Lives Matter march also took place in Southwest Portland. 

On the same day, 200 armed Trump supporters and members of the far-right, neo-fascist group the Proud Boys assembled in Salem, Oregon, at the state capitol building for a “Stop the Steal” rally. Violence did erupt, as at least one photographer was assaulted and one anti-facist activist was pepper sprayed by Trump supporters. Oregon state police reported that they arrested two individuals and encouraged people to avoid the area. Perkins also attended the rally and declared that she will run for public office in 2022. 

The people of the U.S. and Oregon have had their voice heard through the democratic electoral process. The days leading up to Biden’s inauguration may be unpredictable, as Trump continues to contest the results of the election.

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A hand drawn illustration with the city of Portland (trees and mountains) and two different flags: one is blue and says "Settle for Biden!" and the other is red with "Trump 2020" on it
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