An Unusual Election Season

Nora interviews a voter in the Bronx on Election Day. 

President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the country’s new leaders. They were sworn into office on January 20 in Washington, D.C. The Democratic ticket received more than 81.2 million votes in Election 2020, the largest number ever in a presidential race.

Despite their victory, Republican opponent Donald J. Trump and his allies filed several lawsuits contesting the results. A cybersecurity committee at the Department of Homeland Security found “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Of the 61 cases that Trump′s legal team filed in court, they lost 60. 

“I feel that the election lawsuits were futile,” said Jessica Jeon, a sixth-grader from New York City. “The baseless accusations that Trump, his administration, and his supporters spread are a great threat to the faith that the American people have in a democracy.”

Trump’s claims that the election was “stolen,” and his pleas to supporters to fight the results, led to an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. Trump was impeached by members of the House of Representatives for his role in the violence. The Senate will now decide whether or not to convict him and ban him from ever seeking federal office again.


“The baseless accusations that Trump, his administration, and his supporters spread are a great threat to the faith that the American people have in a democracy,” says Jessica Jeon.


On Election Day last November, I visited a polling place near my home in the Bronx, a borough of New York City that is home to more than 1.4 million people. Access to affordable health care and women’s rights were particularly important to voter Elizabeth Jimenez, who supported Biden. But due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, voting in person made Jimenez “extremely nervous.”  

Because of safety concerns, Biden and Harris limited their appearances during the campaign. “I feel like I’m disconnected from Joe Biden,” said Jon W. a middle-school social studies teacher in New York City. “In past campaigns, the voter had a much better idea of what each candidate stood for and their goals for the future. During one of the debates, Biden said something to the effect of, “You know me.” I remember thinking to myself, ‘No, I don’t really know you.’”

Biden served as Vice President under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Before that, he was a U.S. Senator who represented Delaware for 36 years. 


Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman to serve in the office. 


Harris represented California in the Senate before being elected Vice President. She is the first woman, the first Black American, and the first person of Asian American descent to serve as Vice President. Many young girls around the world are thrilled to see a woman in the office.

“While I may be the first woman in this office,” Harris said in her victory speech in November, “I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Jessica, who finds the breaking of barriers “very cool,” also talked about the significance of the inauguration. “It was a clear sign of the peaceful transfer of power,” she said. “That message is especially powerful because this election stirred worries about fraud since many Americans chose to use mail-in ballots because of the pandemic.”




Photos courtesy of the author