An Historic Election

What an Election Week. More Vermonters, and more Americans, voted in these elections than ever before. Despite all the barriers – voter suppression, nonsensical voting laws, and the pandemic – the people have done our job to make our voices heard. And the people have chosen Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. 

We at VPIRG, working closely with our friends at Rights & Democracy and over 20 other Vermont organizations, had been preparing for mass mobilization to Protect the Results if Trump threatened in a credible coup attempt. And on the day after Election Day, Vermonters showed up to peaceful, restorative, and effective events across the state to demand that every vote be counted. If you weren’t able to attend last week, check out some of the coverage here: https://vtdigger.org/2020/11/04/count-every-vote-rallies-draw-crowds-in-10-cities-and-towns/.  

But we held off on the statewide rally we had planned for November 7th at the State House because there is a real understanding in our nation that the democratic process has worked – that votes have been counted, and that it simply took some time.  

We’re all aware that instead of conceding once the will of the voters was clear, Donald Trump continues to desperately try to cast doubt on the election and have ballots retroactively thrown out. And let’s be clear: the vast majority of votes he is trying to throw out are those of people struggling to make ends meet, black and brown Americans, and Americans who decided not to go to the polls in person because of their vulnerability to the pandemic.  

While he has still failed to concede the election and congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their historic victory, there is simply no credible analysis that suggests any of the Trump campaign’s legal challenges could overturn the election results.1 

What is clear is that Trump’s claims, and the fact that they are being echoed by numerous other Republican officials, is deeply disturbing and is doing harm to faith in our democratic system and norms. We all need to be clear: the voters decided, and Joe Biden is president-elect. Giving President Trump’s desperate attempts to undermine our democracy attention and oxygen doesn‘t do the situation any good.  

That said, we will of course continue to monitor developments as the situation evolves, alongside our national and statewide coalition partners, and if and when we believe the situation warrants more significant mobilization, we will be in touch. 

In our brave little state, 372,366 Vermonters cast their votes, blowing away the previous record by more than 50,000 votes and setting a record turnout of 73.5%. And around the country, countless other records were broken as well. Ultimately, it is we the people, we the voters, who decide who represents us – not the courts, and certainly not our leaders themselves – and we have spoken. 

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/trump-needs-three-consecutive-hail-mary-passes/617063/