This combination of pictures shows US President Donald Trump (L) and and former US Vice President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 22, 2020. Photo by Brendan Smialowski and Jim Watson/ (TNS)

NCCU students and the rest of the nation await results of the presidential election

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A few N.C. Central University students tuned  into the Presidential Election ‘Watch Party’ live on Instagram last night at 10:40 p.m. hosted by NCCU Student Activities Board patiently waiting to see who will be the next U.S. president.

With an increase in mail-ballots and millions of votes left uncounted in this election, America has not declared the next president of the United States.

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds 243 electoral votes while President Trump holds 214.

As the votes continue to be counted in every state, the best thing to do is to be “patient” according to NCCU Political Science Associate Professor Jarvis Hall in a post election Campus Echo interview.

“North Carolina and Georgia— Those are the states that people are waiting for because they could determine whether Biden wins the presidency, or President Trump is reelected.”

Some of the votes for the North Carolina races have been counted.  Governor Roy Cooper was reelected to office in the state with Republican Mark Robinson elected NC Lieutenant Governor, marking the first African American to hold the position.

“It was historic in the sense that whoever won that election (referring to the NC Lieutenant Governor race) in terms of the two major political parties anyway, we were gonna have our first African American Lieutenant Governor.  I saw very little campaigns (referring to Robinson’s campaigns) other than a few things on Facebook.”

According to Dr. Hall, Cooper had an advantage since he was an incumbent and demonstrated his strong leadership during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Since NCCU’s budget is set by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and legislature,  the results of state elections could determine how much funding the university receives.

“It really makes a difference as to who is in control of the legislature,” Hall said.  In terms of funding for HBCU’s, it just depends upon the fiscal situation state. “And the way it appears right now it seems as if the Republican Party will continue to control the legislature.”

Even though the final results for the NC Senate are not in yet, Republican candidate Thom Tillis leads at 48.7% while Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham is at 46.9% for votes in the state.

“I think funding for HBCU’s is something that people on both sides will be open to that reason,” Hall added.

“I say that because President Trump touted the fact that when you asked him what he did for the black community, he would talk about criminal justice reform and then he would talk about his support for HBCU’s. I think that’s something that many other Republicans will be open to of course, the Democrats tend to be more favorable.”

For the past decade, NC Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives. If the Republicans in the state take over the House and Senate, it could possibly mean “no expansion of medicaid and little to no effort to deal with issues of affordable housing.”

“In terms of policy, things probably won’t change that much in terms of the North Carolina legislature if things hold the way they are because again the Republicans appear to have actually expanded their lead again in the House of Representatives and at least maintain their lead in the Senate.”

Hall also explained how the importance of the electoral college is in determining the next U.S. President.

The United States Electoral College is an indirect way states can determine who will be the next elected president. It operates as a “win or take all” which frustrates some people, in which majority of the votes are won by a candidate according to Hall.

For example, which ever presidential candidate wins North Carolina, that candidate will win all of the 15 electoral votes for the state.

“And so that is what leads to situations where somebody could win the majority of the popular vote, but still lose as the Electoral College,” Hall said.

“That’s what happened in 2016 with Donald Trump and it could happen here, too. We just don’t know because all of the states (votes) are not in.”

Although Candidate Biden is ahead in the race for presidency, President Trump has managed to win key swing states such as Iowa, Texas, Ohio, and significantly Florida.

North Carolina has tightened with Biden securing 48.7 % of votes as well as President Trump with 50.1%.

Some students feel Biden can still take the win in the election.

“I feel like Biden has a chance to win,”NCCU student Destiny Hill said.

“The big cities in different states have been mainly blue. And I feel like that matters the most. I just pray that if Biden doesn’t win there won’t be any riots.”

As of right now, it is hard to say who will become the next U.S. president.

Counties across the nation continue to working tirelessly to have all of the votes counted and to ensure it is accurate, which could take a number of days.

Story by Aaliyah Bowden with contributions by De’Ja Bunyan

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