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A voting sign sits in the bushes at Memorial Park on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

The following interviews were collected before the presidential election results were announced.


When Joe Biden was announced as the projected 46th president of the U.S. on Nov. 7, University of Georgia student Jackie Jefferson felt “hesitant relief.”

As of Saturday at 12:52 p.m., Biden has secured 290 electoral votes, according to The Associated Press. 270 are needed to become president.

While UGA students who support Biden celebrate the future of the next four years, those who support Trump are concerned about the state of the economy and federal government. Election results were delayed by four days, and states such as Georgia have yet to be counted. The waiting period left students with high emotions and anxiety.

Jefferson believes the Biden administration will continue social justice movements and protect her rights, but she’s concerned about a possible “violent” response from Trump supporters. 

“A Biden presidency will create the most space for social justice movements to continue. Although the impending civil war is a social media joke, after the election it may not be a joke anymore,” said Jefferson, a junior entertainment and media studies and sociology double major.

Georgia has not yet been called. In Clarke County, Biden earned 35,969 popular votes. 

Although Jefferson doesn’t believe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are the answers to her prayers, she is hopeful the pair will advance human rights and social justice policies. 

Alex English, a senior journalism major, said he is relieved Biden secured the presidency, but is not satisfied until he sees tangible legislation and established equity for Black and minority communities. After the last four “divisive” years, English is hopeful to see empathy at the root of the next administration, he said

English is president of the UGA chapter of the NAACP but does not speak on behalf of the organization, he said.

“As a society we have to know what we want and come together,” English said. “It’s one step at a time until we reach actual results and action.”

The 2020 presidential election results incited anxiety for UGA student Courtney Cameron. She fears Biden and Harris will impose nationwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cameron said she believes lockdowns would increase seasonal depression, alcoholism and worsen the economy. 

When the 2020 election results were announced, Cameron felt “shocked and nervous.” She believes Biden will exert the federal government's power over local and state governments in a negative way. 

Parker Marlow, a UGA alumnus and previous president of UGA’s chapter of Turning Point, said he’s disappointed Trump was not reelected but is confident “God is the government.” 

“I believe that He [God] is in control of everything that happens and every president [that] is elected. Overall, in the end, my hope is not in Donald Trump, it’s in Christ,” Marlow said. 

With Biden as president, Marlow predicts society as a whole will “continue to degrade” and small business owners will be negatively impacted by Biden’s economic plans. 

Looking ahead to the next four years, English hopes to see some form of reparations for the Black and African American community. Jefferson hopes the Biden administration will rejoin climate change agreements and push for statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. She’s also hopeful the administration will expand the Supreme Court so the U.S. will see a more “balanced” court.

Although she’s confident in the administration, she said Biden’s campaign points didn’t expand on social reform in the country. 

“Biden has condemned rioting, stated that he won’t defund the police, and will not end qualified immunity,” Jefferson said. “I am hopeful that Biden will follow through on some of his platforms like ending cash bail, decriminalizing marijuana, and other policies that will start to undo some of the harm and inequality perpetuated in minority communities. “