The Keystone State


Shot by Caroline Murray-Hayden, Freshman

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after PA presidential election results were confirmed on Saturday, November 7th.

Edy MacKenzie, Opinions Section Editor

In 1787, Pennsylvania was given the nickname “The Keystone State,” due to the crucial role it played in the formation of America and its centrality, figuratively and geographically, to the thirteen colonies. A keystone is an architectural term referring to the single stone in an arch that upholds the structure and keeps all other components in line, which serves as a metaphor for Pennsylvania’s importance to this country.  Although times have changed, our country has expanded, and Pennsylvania is no longer necessarily in the midst of it all, the 2020 election proved that our state continues to act as the Keystone of America.

Pennsylvania has always had a significant influence on nationwide elections. Its major cities, most notably Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and, of course, Philadelphia, tend to lean left and trend Democratic, while the rest of the state generally favors the Republican end of the political spectrum. With twenty electoral college votes and divisive counties, PA has forever been a crucial swing state for presidential elections; however, the heated battle of 2020 put more pressure on Pennsylvania than ever. 

Prior to Election Day, ABC News predicted that Trump had an 84% chance of taking the presidency should he win PA, and Biden a 96% chance for doing the same. It seemed like the whole country was at a standstill as they waited for Pennsylvania to count their ballots and declare a winner. State Law put forth earlier this election season required all PA mail-in-ballots be counted by election officials on or after Tuesday’s voting day, leading to a prolonged process that was not complete until the following Saturday afternoon —  November 7th. 

Because of the delayed results, national media closely monitored our state in anticipation throughout the week. As county officials tallied votes, news sources everywhere continually reported projected outcomes. Specifically, national channels such as CNN, Fox, and NBC frequently investigated Chester County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and, of course, our very own Delco. People all over the world watched as reporters predicted our election results, interested in our pivotal choices. As Americans anxiously awaited some confirmation of results, all eyes focused on the state we call home.

As mail-in-ballots tended to favor Joe Biden, the world witnessed Pennsylvania transition from red to blue. It was not until PA was confirmed a blue state that the election was decided, further proving the powerful hand our state plays in American politics.

Due to the electoral college system, votes in swing states are a whole lot more decisive in elections than votes in states that already strongly lean in a certain political direction. Pennsylvania voters this year, Republican, Independent, or Democrat, had their chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves. By showing up and turning out this Election Day, we as a state had the privilege of having our voices heard. Pennsylvania was red in 2016 when Donald Trump prevailed, and it is blue in 2020 as Joe Biden will become our new president. Our state is powerful; the millions of voters, on both sides, who showed up and voted had a notable impact on deciding the future president. This year, we made all the difference. 

It seems only fitting that the birthplace of American democracy, Pennsylvania, was able to make such a momentous impact on our government this November. The founding fathers created our voting system in Independence Hall to give power to the people, a message that was dutifully continued this Election Day. We are, just as we were in the eighteenth century, the Keystone State of America and the foundation of a beautifully constructed democratic system. 

Independence Hall, Philadelphia. Saturday, November 7th
Photo by Ellie Davis