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Biden Wins Presidency After Highly Contested Race, Days of Counting Ballots

Courtesy of Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia CommonsJoe Biden is projected to win the presidency, according to the AP.

The Associated Press (AP) has called the race between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump — with Biden set to take the White House as the 46th President of the United States. 

California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, will become the first woman and first person of color to be elected vice president. 

This comes after Pennsylvania and Nevada, with 99 and 88 percent of ballots counted respectively, were projected for Biden.

Biden previously served as vice president under former President Barack Obama, having been elected in 2008. With his projected victory, Biden will be 78 years old at the time of inauguration, making him the oldest president in U.S. history. 

Due to unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots nationwide, it took days to determine the winner of the election. In Illinois alone, there were more than two million mail-in ballots requested before the election. Of these, less than two million were returned.

Mail-in ballots helped swing the race in Biden’s favor in the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania. Trump won Pennsylvania by less than one percent in 2016, and it was one of the states accepting ballots after Election Day, The Phoenix reported.

Trump initially led in Pennsylvania. On Election Day, Trump had a lead of 675,000 votes, the AP reported. 

However as mail-in ballots came in, this changed. Biden received close to two million mail-in ballots compared to Trump who received just under 600,000 mail-in votes, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. This brings the total in Pennsylvania to 3,345,906 for Biden and 3,311,448 for Trump, according to the AP. 

With Pennsylvania secured, Biden is projected to receive 290 electoral votes, 20 more than the 270 required to win as some states — including Georgia and Arizona — remain uncalled.  

Biden was born in 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He moved to Delaware when he was 10 years old and in 1972 was elected to the U.S. Senate representing the state. At the age of 29, he was the youngest senator elected in U.S. history. Biden would serve in the Senate from 1973 to 2009. He had tried and failed to secure the presidency twice before, once in 1988 and again in 2008, both times failing to capture the Democratic nomination, according to biography.com.

Biden’s running mate, Harris, was born in 1964 in Oakland, California to immigrant parents. She moved to Quebec, Canada when she was 12 years old but came back to the U.S. to attend college and law school. She joined the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in 1998 and defeated her former boss to be elected district attorney in 2003. Harris was elected California Attorney General in 2010 and in 2016 was elected to the U.S. Senate, according to biography.com.

Biden’s win follows local wins for Democrats in the Senate and state attorney’s office and victories for Republicans in governor’s races

For more on the 2020 election, be sure to check out The Phoenix’s ongoing election coverage and previous election updates

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