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'We're Here To Celebrate': Vermonters Respond To Biden's Win

people point to a car with a biden cutout in the sunroof along Burlington's Main Street
Elodie Reed
Burlingtonians celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election on Saturday.

As Vermonters gathered Saturday to celebrate or protest former Vice President Joe Biden's win in the presidential election, members of state's Congressional delegation said the election's outcome is an opportunity to heal divisions in the country. Cheering people and honking cars packed the intersection of Burlington’s Main and Church streets Saturday after the announcement that Biden was elected the 46th president of the United States.  

Two people on a motorcycle, one man smiling, one woman with her arms raised up in the air
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR
VPR File
People gathering in downtown Burlington Saturday to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden's win in the presidential election.

Francesca Milazzo was among them. Milazzo is a chemistry grad student at UVM, and she said she could hear the celebration from her apartment and she decided to join in.

“Biden winning is just for women and for everybody disenfranchised, we're here to celebrate, this is amazing,” she said.

In Montpelier, supporters of President Donald Trump gathered on the Statehouse steps to protest the election’s outcome according to VTDigger.

Election results were delayed for days due to the time it took to count this year’s unprecedented number of mail-in ballots. Biden narrowly won after the votes were tallied in several key swing states this week.

President Trump has said he’ll file lawsuits to appeal the results. But Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy said Trump’s efforts to de-legitimize the election won’t work.

“He can tweet all he wants, I know the law, he’s not going to succeed,” Leahy said. “These are honest, fair elections, the people voted either for or against him, their votes will be counted.”

More from VPR: General Election 2020: National Results

Rep. Peter Welch said Biden will help the country more quickly recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus.

“We’re going to be able to start rebuilding, we’re going to treat each other better, it’s so, so hopeful,” Welch said. “I’m so happy, I just can’t believe it.”

In a tweet, Sen. Bernie Sanders encouraged people to organize to “create a government that works for ALL and not the few.”

Republican Gov. Phil Scott issued a statement Saturday congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Scott, a longtime critic of President Donald Trump, voted for Biden.

In his statement, Scott said he hoped Biden would deliver on the “unifying leadership he committed to on the campaign trail,” and that Trump would “honor the will of the people and respect our democratic process.”  

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Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
Elodie is a reporter and producer for Vermont Public. She previously worked as a multimedia journalist at the Concord Monitor, the St. Albans Messenger and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, and she's freelanced for The Atlantic, the Christian Science Monitor, the Berkshire Eagle and the Bennington Banner. In 2019, she earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Southern New Hampshire University.
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