US election: Voters turn out in Joe Biden's home town Delaware

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with residents in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov 3, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
The carpark in front of Chase Centre convention centre in Wilmington had been converted to an outdoor venue. ST PHOTO: CHARISSA YONG

WILMINGTON (DELAWARE) - Wilmington, a city of 70,000 and the state of Delaware's largest, seems ordinary at first glance on Election Day - except for a few signs that it happens to be the home town of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who moved there with his family at the age of 10.

The Amtrak station is named for Mr Biden, who famously commuted by train daily to Washington, DC, and back as a senator from 1973 till 2009, when he stepped down to become vice-president.

And on Tuesday afternoon (Nov 3), the massive carpark in front of the city's waterfront Chase Centre convention centre had been converted to an outdoor venue, complete with a large stage, floodlights and television production trucks parked around its perimeter.

Mr Biden and his running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, are scheduled to address the nation there on Election Night, the same location they spoke from in August during the Democratic National Convention.

"I'm excited to be from Delaware now, to have our president be from Delaware," said healthcare worker Amanda Martinez, 40, on her way out from dropping off her ballot in downtown Wilmington. "I feel good about getting a new president into office."

Immigration was the biggest issue for her because her family is from Mexico, said Ms Martinez.

Mr Biden seemed to be fair to Latino voters, "so hopefully he'll keep it that way once he becomes our president", she added.

Mr Omar Collins, an African American, said the "injustice that we have been fighting, for my whole lifetime", was what prompted him to vote for Mr Biden.

"You thought you were equal, even though the tension was always there. But he (Mr Trump) proved that he never thought of us that way," said the 53-year-old, who works in home healthcare.

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Ms Beth Maloney, 54, a vice-president at a bank, declined to say who she was voting for but said that the economy and America's ability to get along with its foreign partners and trade partners was at the forefront of her mind this election.

Physician Saeed B. said he voted for Mr Biden in the hope that he would bring some civility and stability to American politics.

"With this pandemic... this is a common enemy and we don't need to fight each other. We need to fight things like this together," he said.

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Asked how he would feel if Mr Trump won another four years in office, the 38-year-old groaned and said: "Goodness gracious, I'd definitely need an antacid.

"But, you know, it would be the American public's will. So, you know, I would say the same thing I said last time when Trump was elected: that we're still a team and we ought to try to work together and find common ground."

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