NEW YORK — Below is a statement from Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, following the Associated Press’ announcement that former Vice President Joe Biden is the apparent winner of the presidential election.
“Our nation’s electoral systems have withstood record turnout, an avalanche of mail-in ballots in a pandemic, and the attacks of a president who would rather tear down democratic norms and institutions than admit he is a loser in a national election. It may have been slow — at times excruciating — but our democracy worked as it should have: Every vote will be counted. And the people will choose their leader — rather than leaders choosing the voters.
“The past four years have been a dark period in American history, marred by division, injustice, and relentless assaults on all of our rights and our lives. But we’ve also seen millions of people, from every corner of the country, come together to exercise their rights, and fight for justice, freedom, and equality. Together, we’ve made our voices heard, again and again — in the courts, in the streets, at the ballot box, and in the halls of power. Now, we need to turn our attention to boldly leading freedom forward. Because it’s never been about one party, person, or president. It’s about holding all our leaders and institutions — local and national — accountable.
“Our 100-year history has shown us that change is always made from the ground up, in our own towns, cities, and states. Landmark progress on everything from women’s suffrage to abortion rights, from marriage equality to criminal justice reform, began with local action. Today we turn a page from one of the darkest moments in civil liberties and civil rights. Over the last four years, we weathered an all-out attack on immigrants; withstood racist dog whistles as loud as bull-horns; and witnessed presidential back-slapping of white supremacists. For his anti-civil rights and civil liberties agenda, Donald Trump will be democratically and ceremoniously removed from the Oval Office by his employer: the American people. We'll keep fighting until “we the people” means all of us, and together, we will prevail — just as we have as a nation for centuries.”