At press time on Wednesday, President-elect Joseph Biden had tallied over 77 million votes — more than any other presidential candidate in history — besting President Trump’s 72 million-plus votes, the second-most ever.
Only two states remained to be decided, Georgia and North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. Wins by Trump in one or both states, however, would not affect the outcome of the election. Biden had secured 290 electoral votes, the AP was reporting. If he were to win Georgia — an increasingly likely outcome — he would end the election with 306 electoral votes, 36 more than he needed to win the presidency.
Allen Hudson, the assistant principal of Glen Cove High School, said he could hear the sounds of celebration as he and members of his family made their way to Sea Cliff Memorial Park last Saturday, where they joined other North Shore residents to mark the victory of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris by marching through the village. Hudson said he found out about the march on Facebook, and estimated that 100 to 150 people took part — all wearing masks.
“We’re just hoping and praying that we move forward and that the United States is unified once again,” Hudson said. “It was beautiful. It was the America that we believe in with the combination of all races and creeds. It was nice.”
Before Biden was declared the winner in Pennsylvania late Saturday morning, putting him over the top in the electoral vote count, Hudson, like many other North Shore residents, was continually monitoring the television network maps of red, blue and undecided states.
“And then I kind of took a break because it was kind of consuming my mind,” he said. “My daughter, Taylor, texted me and said Biden won. I was at work, and it was just a sense of relief. I was telling my wife today I just felt like I could breathe, I felt relaxed and I felt relieved that there was someone in office who, to me, is kind, who will be more compassionate, in my opinion, than what the last four years have been.”
When the Rev. Roger Williams, of First Baptist Church of Glen Cove, heard the news, he said he felt at ease that someone who, in his opinion, displayed more presidential and noble qualities would occupy the Oval Office for at least the next four years.
“I will admit that I was not in favor of another term for Mr. Donald Trump as president, and my reasons for that went beyond any political motivations,” Williams said. “It was, for me, a moral standing. The behavior or Mr. Trump, when it comes to the way he has dealt with people — and obviously, for me, the racial animus . . . was problematic.”
Williams said he hoped the community would close the political divide that has grown over the past four years. “My mindset is really about trying to take the moment that we’ve been given and restore some kind of sanity and stability to the American experience for everyone,” he said.
Around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, shortly after the AP declared Biden the winner in Pennsylvania, Deborah Fossett, of Sea Cliff, heard her neighbors banging pots and pans outside. “I think it was just a sense of relief and a sense of hope,” Fossett said, “for now being able to have these rational, unifying conversations [that we haven’t had] the past four years.”
She noted that Biden has repeatedly said that he would be a president for all Americans. “We do need to come together as a country,” Fossett said, “and we need that type of leadership in the White House.”
She also took part in the Memorial Park march, and said she, too, was looking forward to seeing a president who will display dignity, honesty and goodness when representing the country. “Not that we don’t make mistakes, but if you genuinely try to be good, good things will come,” Fossett said. “I have friends in the U.K. who are ecstatic that there’s someone in the United States who isn’t an embarrassment, someone that actually respects women and the fact that we have the first madam vice president, someone who’s the first woman of color, the first woman, the first of multi-heritage, the first of so many things.”
Not all were happy about Biden’s win, however. “I think the Republicans were very disappointed with the outcome of the election,” said John Maccarone, of the Glen Cove Republican Club.
Asked about the celebrations that took place in Sea Cliff and in New York City over the weekend, Maccarone noted that there were pro-Trump rallies as well.