As President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris began making plans for a new administration, and as President Donald Trump’s legal team began its efforts to contest the election results in a handful of states where vote total remained close on Monday morning. Five Towns elected officials gave their reaction to the election results and the high turnouts.
As of press time, former Vice President Biden had tallied more than 75 million votes — more than any other presidential candidate in history — besting President Trump’s 70 million-plus votes, the second most in history.
Only two states remained to be decided, Georgia and North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. The outcome of either, however, would not affect the overall outcome of the election.
Biden had 290 electoral votes secured, the AP was reporting. If he were to win Georgia — an increasingly likely outcome — he would end the election with 306 electoral votes. A candidate needs 270 to win the presidency.
Kathleen Rice, who represents New York’s 4th Congressional District, was reelected to another term in Congress. She grabbed 52 percent of the vote to 47 percent for Republican Douglas Tuman. Rice took to Twitter to express her pleasure with Biden becoming the president elect.
“Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their historic victory,” Rice tweeted on Nov. 7. “I am filled with hope. The Biden-Harris Administration will lead with dignity and help bring our nation back together.”
Assemblywoman Melissa Miller, a Republican in the 20th District, also claimed victory, garnering more than 60 percent of the vote over her opponent, Democrat Gregory Marks. “I was encouraged by the large voter turnout both in our area and across the country,” she said. It shows that people are very interested in what is going on at both the local and federal levels and they took the opportunity to make their voices heard through voting.”
After the votes were tallied in his unopposed election, Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat representing the 5th C.D., which includes Inwood tweeted his appreciation for those who voted for him. “It is a privilege and duty I never take lightly,” he posted. “Let’s keep working together.”
More than 50,000 ballots were cast as of press time in the 20th A.D. race, and Miller said she appreciates the voters. “I want to thank everyone who voted and put their trust in me,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to be a strong advocate for our community.”
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat who represents the Five Towns, was reelected to the state senate for his third term after staving off a challenge from Republican Victoria Johnson. Kaminsky was encouraged by the voter turnout within the district and across the country.
“I think people realized that there were very high stakes in this presidential election with the direction our country will take the next four years on the line,” Kaminsky said. “People made their voices heard this year. I think it’s fair to say that President Trump is very polarizing and I think that motivated people tremendously to get out and vote.
Kaminsky added that regardless of election results, it’s a good sign when voter turnout is high. It’s always good to see high numbers even if people don’t agree with you,” he said. “Low participation is a recipe for corruption and for having bad results overall in politics.”