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Bellmore-Merrick residents react to drawn-out election

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At press time on Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden had tallied over 76 million votes — more than any other presidential candidate in history — besting President Trump’s 71 million-plus votes, the second-most in history.

Only two states remained to be decided, Georgia and North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. A win in either state for either candidate, 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, 36 more than he needed to win the presidency.

Supporters of both candidates gathered at the Bellmore Long Island Rail Road station on Saturday afternoon. Biden backers arrived to celebrate the president-elect’s victory, while Trump’s followers protested that the election wasn’t over. Police were on the scene and told both sides to keep their distance from each other.

The Herald asked Bellmore-Merrick residents for their reactions to Biden’s election.

In the months leading up to Election Day, Bellmorite Jill Rosenberg said she volunteered with local advocacy groups to help get out the vote. “I wrote 500 postcards for Postcards to Swing States — 400 of which went to Georgia — and phone-banked with MoveOn,” a liberal political group, she said. “My biggest prayer for the country is we need to unify. There’s so much hate and anger, and I’m hoping people will start to think of themselves as Americans and neighbors and people who care about each other rather than who they voted for.”

Rosenberg said she believed that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s presence in the Biden administration will reverberate through generations, and called her election a “remarkable achievement.” “Having a Black woman on the ticket will give girls the hope that maybe someday they can be the vice president,” she said. “As a mother of daughters, it shows that the sky is the limit for women, and that’s the way it should be.”

Tricia Sattar, of Merrick, offered congratulations to Biden and Harris. She said she was pleased to see the administration will have greater diversity come Jan. 20. “I’m very proud that America will have its first female vice president,” Sattar said, “and even more proud that, like me, she has Jamaican roots.”

On Twitter, U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, who last week won her re-election bid in New York’s 4th Congressional District, congratulated Biden and Harris on Twitter. Rice tweeted that the results of the election filled her with hope, adding, “The Biden-Harris administration will lead with dignity and help bring our nation back together.”

State Assemblyman Dave McDonough, a Republican from North Merrick, said he hoped Biden would “bring the country together,” provided his election holds up after Trump appeals vote counts in other states. “It’s the most important thing right now.”

“I hope this is all resolved quickly and we can move on,” McDonough added. “The main thing we need to do is stop the division in this country.”