Thank you for voting. Whether you voted in person or by mail or at an early voting location, you did your solemn duty and took part in our democracy. This was an unusual election for a number of reasons, chief being the increased use of mail in and early voting.
In Pennsylvania close to 3 million voters requested mail-in ballots and more than 2.5 million mail-in and absentee ballots had been returned with more to come. It will take time to process and count these ballots. County officials across the state need time to count every single ballot that has been legally cast, and that could take several days. We should celebrate the massive turnout because our democracy only works if we all participate. But we need to trust that our local officials are upholding their responsibility to provide an accurate count.
We now know that Joe Biden won the election and will become our next president. No matter who you supported, no matter your party affiliation, I am urging each of you to remember that our Local Union is one union of 35,000 women and men across a wide jurisdiction in a growing range of industries.
Each of our members benefits from our combined strength when we negotiate contracts and organize new work sites. Employers know that we have a strong presence in every corner of our jurisdiction. We have a deep, active membership and we share a common purpose: to fight together for fair wages, safe workplaces, and strong benefits.
The election may be won but our nation is divided. There is no escaping that fact. But I am confident that if each one of us makes a commitment to work together, the nation will emerge from this election stronger than ever, just as strong as our Local Union is.
Our American democracy was formed and shaped by our nation’s founders in Philadelphia, where this local was first organized. Our Local Union is called “1776” as a tribute to those brave leaders and to celebrate democracy: as a union and as a nation.