KENOSHA ⏤ The Associated Press’ selection of Joe Biden as the projected winner of the state in the general election had a near instant reaction in Kenosha.
Around the same time as the announcement, a “Change is Coming” rally was being held in Civic Center Park. The rally turned into a celebration of Biden’s projected win.
Close battle in state
Biden’s lead over Trump in the state of Wisconsin rests at approximately 20,000 votes, according to the AP.
“The Associated Press called Wisconsin for Biden after election officials in the state said all outstanding ballots had been counted, save for a few hundred in one township and an expected small number of provisionals,” the AP states in its story.
As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, with 99% of the state’s precincts reporting, Biden had a lead of 49.6% of the vote, or 1,630,396 votes. Trump trailed with 1,609,879 votes, or 48.9% of the vote, according to the AP.
The Trump campaign has stated it will request a recount.
“Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a Wednesday statement. “There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The president is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”
‘Change is Coming’
In Civic Center Park around 1 p.m Wednesday, people gathered in high spirits.
Many donned shirts, masks and held signs that stated, “Voters Decide.”
“Here, in Wisconsin, voters have decided,” said Kyle Johnson, of the organization Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC), based in Milwaukee. “And it looks like it’s a decisive win by 20,000 votes for former vice president Joe Biden.”
Supporters cheered, clapped and waived their signs at the words.
“It’s wonderful,” Johnson continued. “And the fact that Kenosha was a crucial part in providing for that victory is even sweeter, that they were able to push the former vice president to victory.”
Small, but still passionate crowd
Approximately 20 people attended the rally in Civic Center Park Wednesday afternoon. Many of them commenting that they had just rolled out of bed after staying up watching results all night.
However, for Jada Peters, 22, of Kenosha, this election has been transformative in ways. She served as a canvasser for the first time during the 2020 election process.
“The reason I’m here today is I’m a young person. I’m a person of color. And I just want to see change,” she said.
This includes racial change, change in education and much more, she said.
“I want to see these different elected officials taking actions,” Peters said. “And I also want to see diversity in our offices as well.”
‘Every vote counts’
However, as Johnson acknowledged, the overall choice of who will be the next president is far from decided.
“Now, while we are here celebrating the fact that here in Wisconsin voters have decided,” Johnson said, “we want to make sure that we are still affirming the need to count every vote and to stand in solidarity with the states around the country that are still counting their votes.”
“Every vote counts. This election is not over until every vote is counted.”
Governor calls for patience
Under state law, final results must be certified by Dec. 1.
However, in the lead up to that day, Gov. Tony Evers calls for patience among the voting public.
“Here in Wisconsin, election officials are doing their due diligence to ensure Wisconsin has a fair and accurate count and are working through the steps of the Wisconsin certification process,” Evers said. “This includes two separate checking results and auditing voting equipment. This is normal.
“And it is important for everyone to remember to be kind, be patient, and to know that this isn’t a sign of a problem, but rather that every single voice is being counted.”