INDIANAPOLIS — In the hours after the Associated Press named former Vice President Joe Biden as president-elect and Kamala Harris as vice president-elect, rallies broke out in downtown Indy.
On Monument Circle, the cheers of Biden and Harris supporters could be heard as they celebrated Saturday afternoon. More supporters stayed in their vehicles, driving by and honking as signs waved out their windows.
Katie Wise, who voted for Biden and Harris in the election said, “With so much chaos this year, this is the first day that I have seen joy and excitement come from everyone. So we’re just out here enjoying everyone’s company and just celebrating having a good time.”
Devontae Williams drove down from Ft. Wayne to partake in the celebrations Saturday.
“Ah, man I’m happy. I’m so happy,” he said.
“I was completely in joy. I celebrated all my friends all huge fans of Joe Biden. We loved Obama. I think he’s gonna do great. I think he’s gonna be a great president for everyone, and I’m excited to have him in office. I think it’s gonna be a big change,” said Jonathon Hills, also celebrating Saturday’s historic announcement.
Amelia Ball, a first-time voter, said she felt her vote mattered. This was the first election Ball was eligible to vote in.
“It was honestly so liberating,” she said. “The fact that we can make a change like this and have our power to make a difference. It was life-changing and in such a historic election too.
“We need the unity that we have right now. Biden, I feel, is the first step to really making sure we can achieve that unity. It’s not a Republican or Democrat, it’s an American belief.”
Across the street during the celebrations, a few supporters of President Trump looked on following a nearby “Stop the Steal” rally.
Natalie Lamphaer, a supporter of Trump, said the results were upsetting, but shared her support for those celebrating the Biden-Harris projected win.
“I think it’s frustrating just because I know it’s a lot of people that don’t agree with what I have to say, but I kind of like it because they’re happy. I can see the other side that they’re happy, and they’re celebrating, and the past four years has probably been really hard for them,” said Lamphaer.
At the same time, she said she is disappointed in the results and feels Trump has done a lot for the United States.
“As an African American female, I am a very strong minority, and I can see what he has done for me as an individual, so I want him to continue doing great things for me and my African American community,” Lamphaer said.
She explained that she hopes Trump continues to fight despite Saturday’s election announcement.
“I believe that there is a bunch of fraud and machines that are being broken, you know. Just kind of throwing votes to the Democratic side for no reason,” said Lamphaer. “I think there’s a lot of sketchy stuff so I’m hoping that we as Americans can continue to sit and fight for obviously the opposite side, but going forward that’s all I’m going to hope for in the next few months.”
Nearby, supporters of Trump protested Biden’s victory at the Indiana Statehouse by holding a “Stop the Steal” rally.
Dozens attended, holding signs that read “Stop the Steal,” “justice for voters,” and “you’ve been caught,” protesting the results of the election as Trump announced in a statement Saturday the election is “far from over.”
As Lamphaer and other supporters of the president await the next steps after Trump announced he won’t concede, she said, “I kind of hope we can just see each other’s side a little bit more and clearer. Not be so blind to other people’s opinions, just all come together. If we talk about it we kind of all have the same idea of where we want our nation to go. We just have to come together and do that.”
“You’ve got a winning team and a losing team, and at the end of the day, you’re gonna shake hands and go on with your life. You hope that the best man wins, and if your best man doesn’t win, life still goes on,” said Lamphaer.