Protesters march in Richmond, Trump declares early victory as election results remain unclear

Protesters hold signs and megaphones while marching through Richmond in opposition to Trump’s leadership. Photo by Enza Marcy.

Katharine DeRosa, Staff Writer
Jackson Rebraca, Contributing Writer

“We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned, we already have won it,” President Donald Trump said early Wednesday morning as several key battleground states lacked a clear winner and Democrat nominee Joe Biden sat ahead by 11 electoral college votes.

As election night ended without a clear indication of who would fill the Oval Office, demonstrators marched through Richmond in opposition to Trump’s leadership. Some carried political signs, while others checked their phones for the latest vote count in a race that will define the country’s next four years.

“A lot of people are afraid of the backlash from the far-right and Trump supporters,” said Katy Russel, a first-year dance and political science major at VCU. “I was expecting to see a caravan.”

A line of cars follow protesters as they march down Broad St. Photo by Enza Marcy.

A “Trump train,” consisting of several pickup trucks and cars, traveled through downtown Richmond on Tuesday night, passing the Robert E. Lee monument and areas near VCU’s Monroe Park and MCV campuses. As anti-Trump protesters followed, one in the crowd carried a Biden/Harris poster while others wrote more vulgar attacks against Trump on handmade signs. 

Final presidential election results are expected to be reported no earlier than Friday. As of early Wednesday, according to The Washington Post, Biden secured 224 electoral college votes over Trump’s 213. Neither candidate reached the 270-vote benchmark required for election.

The Virginia Department of Election stopped counting votes at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, and early votes in many states have not been counted as of early Wednesday. The elections department stated Tuesday that results will be counted through Friday and possibly throughout the weekend. Localities will certify their results Nov. 10. 

Trump said he is going to order the Supreme Courts to stop counting votes. Legal experts on ABC News said there is no legal basis for telling the courts to stop counting votes.

At Richmond City Hall, activists said ending police brutality and holding police accountable would require a Biden presidency.

Protesters gather at City Hall before marching towards the Robert E. Lee monument. Photo by Enza Marcy.

Early Wednesday morning, Biden spoke to the country during a livestream from Wilmington, Delaware.

“We knew this was going to be long,” Biden said.

Trump addressed the country from the White House around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Trump said he and his family were getting ready to celebrate. He declared victory in a number of states, including Georgia and Pennsylvania, which hadn’t been called by the time of his speech.

“We didn’t win it. We won it by a lot.” Trump said of Florida, which secured 29 electoral votes for the incumbent, according to The Washington Post.

Richmond resident Kaitlynn Herrington, who plans on attending VCU next year, voted at the University Student Commons. She said people who don’t vote don’t have the privilege to complain about issues.

“The mentality of that ‘not every vote matters’ is what’s causing such a big issue.” Herrington said. “If all of us vote for Biden, but then Trump wins, we obviously know something’s wrong.” 

Herrington said she is ready to “settle for Biden.” She said the U.S. deserves better than the former vice president but that she’s excited to see Trump potentially leave office. Biden served 36 years as a U.S. Senator representing Delaware before joining the 2008 ticket of former President Barack Obama.

A protester checks election updates on their phone while on the street. Photo by Enza Marcy.

Trump won the electoral college but not the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. During his term, the Trump administration rolled back environmental regulations and repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which required Americans to have health insurance or bear a fine. 

Trump was impeached during the third year of his presidency for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The trial largely concerned Trump’s threat to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky investigated the Biden family.

Biden has said that as president, he would implement plans to fight COVID-19. His website includes specific tactics, such as doubling the number of drive-up testing sites, encouraging Congress to pass an emergency package for public schools and small businesses, reconnecting with the World Health Organization and creating a mandatory mask mandate.

Biden has plans to expand the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as “Obamacare.” Biden has stated that he will not ban the process of extracting oil and natural gas through drilling into the earth with high pressure mixtures known as fracking, but supports the Green New Deal, which is meant to strengthen the economy and the environment. 

Results for this race are as of 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday.


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