A celebration of President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election surrounded the Monroe County courthouse Sunday afternoon. Signs in support of the Biden/Harris campaign were held up during the rally, with others wearing merchandise from the campaign.
The rally, organized by College Democrats at IU, Monroe County Democratic party and Monroe County NOW was originally in support of assuring that all legally cast ballots would be counted, but after all the major outlets called the race for Biden on Saturday, they quickly shifted.
“I think we saw the enthusiasm for people making the call, doing their civic duty and voting,” said Jennifer Crossley, the Monroe County Democratic Party Chairwoman. “We wanted to celebrate that.”
Allyson McBride, press secretary for College Democrats at IU, said voting issues are not limited to the few swing states President Donald Trump has been discussing on Twitter.
“Indiana is no stranger to voter suppression,” she said. “But even red states can flip blue sometimes.”
Biden currently leads in Georgia as of Sunday and could potentially pick up the state’s 16 electoral votes. The state will complete a recount, but should Biden win, it will be the first presidential election the state has voted Democratic since 1992. The Biden campaign worked this cycle to increase support among Black Georgians, notably Black women.
“Black women are the backbone of democracy,” Crossley said. “Step aside. Let us lead. Because we’re coming.”
Crossley, in her speech at the rally, credited Biden’s projected win in Georgia to Stacey Abrams, who unsuccessfully ran for Georgia's governorship in 2018. Abrams quickly became a star in the Democratic Party, giving the Democratic response to Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address.
Crossley said their work is not done yet and that the Indiana Democratic Party needs to take similar steps in Indiana as Democrats did in Georgia.
“One thing we need to do is reach out to people in rural areas,” she said. “But something else we need to do is reach out to people in marginalized communities of color that we have not really reached out to. We can’t just show up and ask them for the vote.”
In recent days, President Trump has been aiming to sow mistrust in mail-in balloting, suggesting, without evidence, there was rampant voter fraud across the country.
“We the people decided,” Crossley said. “If the election were actually rigged, do you think Lindsay Graham and Mitch McConnell would still be there? I think not.”
There is some concern among younger voters that Biden is not progressive enough to make adequate change. McBride addressed this in her speech.
“We can push Joe Biden left,” she said. “Climate change is a good example. Biden and Harris won, and Trump and the rest of the GOP must respect those results.”
Crossley said Trump’s rhetoric about voter fraud will not impede the work the Democratic Party hopes to do over the next few years.
“Let’s count the votes,” she said. “If we have to go for a recount, there’s no problem for us doing that. It’ll just solidify that, again, the people have spoken. After that, we move on. We can’t worry about what was happening with 45. We have to move forward with 46, which is Joe Biden. There’s so much at stake.”
Editor's note: Allyson McBride is the current opinion desk editor at the Indiana Daily Student.