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 Philadelphia rejoices after Biden wins pandemic-altered election

The 2020 election — shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and a reckoning over racial injustice and police brutality against the Black community  —   captivated the United States unlike any before it. A massive increase in mail-in voting extended the polarizing political phenomenon beyond its customary single day; Election Day quickly became Election Week.

 

In Philadelphia, the days following the pandemic-altered Election Day were dominated by "Count Every Vote" protests as President Donald Trump's campaign claimed that there was widespread election fraud and that Democrats were trying to "steal the election." Outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where Philadelphia County's votes were being tallied, there had been a several-day face-off between the Count Every Vote group and a group of Trump supporters.

 

An anxious nation grew more and more desperate for the race to be called as the hours and days passed. But late on Saturday morning, more than three days after Election Day, major news networks began to project Former Vice President Joe Biden as the winner of the state of Pennsylvania, pushing him beyond the threshold of 270 electoral votes to secure the presidency.

 

Saturday’s announcement quickly turned the city from tense to joyous. Even as  COVID-19 cases were surging across the nation, thousands of elated Philadelphians rushed into the streets to dance, drink, and cheer. 

 

Click the first image to begin the story.

A masked poll worker is seen reflected in plexiglass inside a polling location at Houston Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 3, 2020.
Students at the University of Pennsylvania wait in line to vote just prior to the opening of the polls at 8 a.m. EDT in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 3, 2020.
A supporter of President Donald Trump speaks to the media outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 4, 2020. President Trump's legal team was scheduled to hold a press conference outside the convention center, but it was abruptly canceled soon after it was announced.
YahNe Ndgo leads a chant of "say his name! Walter Wallace!" during a joint Black Lives Matter and Count Every Vote protest in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 4, 2020.
Philly Elmo, the leader of the drum line Positive Moment, raises his fist during a joint Black Lives Matter and Count Every Vote protest in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 4, 2020.
A supporter of President Donald Trump folds a Keep America Great flag prior to a demonstration outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 6, 2020.
A Trump supporter holds up a sign advocating for increased transparency of the vote counting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 6, 2020.
A line of police bikes separates a Count Every Vote demonstration from a group of Trump supporters outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 6, 2020.
A Count Every Vote demonstrator argues with Trump supporters outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
Local activist Samantha Rise speaks to demonstrators during a Count Every Vote protest outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 6, 2020.
A man cheers outside of his van minutes after national news organizations projected that Joe Biden had won the 2020 election in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
People are seen holding signs reading "No. 46!" and "TODAY WE CELEBRATE" during the celebrations of Joe Biden's election victory in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaks during the celebrations after Joe Biden was projected to be the president-elect. "We can't gloat too much, since we have to bring the country back together," Kenney said at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
A woman wearing Black Lives Matter earrings and an American flag mask watches the celebrations of Joe Biden's election victory at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
The crowd cheers during speeches given outside the City Hall building as the celebrations of Joe Biden's election victory continue in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
A couple embraces in the crowd as the celebrations of Joe Biden's election victory take place outside the City Hall building in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
A man dressed as Uncle Sam climbs on the statue of General George McClellan outside the City Hall building, throwing red confetti and holding up a Biden-Harris sign in Philadelphia, Pa. on Nov. 7, 2020.
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© Chase Sutton 2021