On-campus groups discuss election results, get out the vote efforts
BY DANA NICKEL SENIOR STAFF WRITER
At least 159.8 million people voted in the U.S. presidential election this year. At Mason, both the Mason College Republicans and the George Mason Democrats worked all election season to get out the vote for their candidates.
Joe Szymanski, secretary of College Republicans, explained that the organization’s effort came down to knocking doors.
“We did multiple deployments throughout the month of October,” Szymanski explained. He noted that his team closely followed COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines while they were out canvassing.
On the morning of Election Day, Szymanski explained that College Republicans had a presence at the polls on campus.
“We had one or two guys [at Mason’s university precinct] at a table to hand out literature to anyone who was interested [in voting Republican] who voted on campus,” Szymanski said.
A representative from GMU4Trump explained that their organization’s plans for Election Day could be broken down into two categories.
“We put our efforts into two things — encouraging Mason students to vote and putting out as much information as possible in order to tell students why they should vote for President Trump,” the representative, who declined to give their name, explained.
As for GMU Dems, President Erica Kelly explained that it was about getting Biden elected in more competitive states.
“We weren’t as worried about Joe Biden in Virginia,” Kelly said. “We were more focused on calling into competitive states like Pennsylvania this year.”
GMU Dems did not have anyone tabling near the polls on campus this Election Day. Kelly explained that it was a decision for the safety of her organization.
“We decided not to have anyone at the polls this year for safety reasons. So that was really different from other election seasons,” she explained
Kelly continued, “Not getting up super early for [Get Out the Vote] was really weird this year.”
On Saturday, Nov. 7, Joe Biden was officially declared the President-elect of the U.S. after winning Pennsylvania. As of Nov. 12, votes are being recounted in Georgia, and votes in North Carolina and Alaska are still being counted.
For the results so far, College Republicans remain optimistic.
“We are incredibly happy with the results in Congress,” Szymanski explained. “Gaining seats in the House of Representatives and likely keeping the United States Senate in Republican hands was something I wasn’t confident in.”
Szymanski continued, “With that, I don’t think Joe Biden has a strong mandate. He’s going to have to make deals with Republicans in some way to get things done.”
Although the Associated Press has confirmed that Joe Biden is the President-elect, a representative from GMU4Trump explained that, “As of today, we remain very confident is the President’s chances and we are optimistic that he will remain President on January 20th.”
They continued, “We look forward to recounts, the legal battles and making sure every legal vote is counted. If the legal results show that Joe Biden has won, we will not like it but we will respect the results.”
Kelly explained GMU Dems’ feelings on the election being called for Biden.
“I am thrilled. Our country will be a better place on day one of the Biden presidency than it has been these past four years, and I point to the newly announced COVID task force as evidence of that,” Kelly said.
She continued, “I’m proud of the caucus in the House for holding onto the majority despite the record Republican turnout in the redder districts and finally, I’m ready to take the Senate. The runoff in Georgia is far from a done deal, but thanks to the work of Stacey Abrams and generations of Black Georgians, we have a fighting chance.”