“I feel liberated,” said Linda Gomez, 37, an activist who has advocated for the rights of convicted criminals and who has herself been imprisoned previously. She added, “Today is people’s day.”
Ms Gomez, like others there, said voting against President Trump would not be enough to achieve the changes voters were looking for.
“We need to make sure things get implemented,” she said. “We have to hold Biden accountable.”
Sitting outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Christian Hanna, 31, stopped his afternoon bike ride to follow election news after noticing his phone balanced on the handlebars of his motorcycle, “exploded” with the updates.
Mr. Hanna is a registered Republican who has said he disagrees with the divisive tone of Mr. Trump’s speeches and also disagrees with parts of Mr. Biden’s record. He said he voted for a third party candidate, Jo Jorgensen.
He said some of his friends on social media were popping champagne bottles while others were saying, “Fight this, fight it. He read a tweet from Mr Trump in which the president claimed to have won the election, and said it made him reflect wistfully on how John McCain accepted defeat in 2008.
“I believe in decorum,” said Hanna, who added that he was considering changing his recording to independent. “I believe in dealing with wins and dealing with losses with grace.”
Across the street, four sheriff’s deputies sat in an unmarked black SUV, monitoring the situation.
Julie bosman reported from Chicago, Lucy tompkins from Bismarck, ND, and Sabrina Tavernise from Washington. Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker in Seattle, Tim arango in Los Angeles, Sarah Mervosh in Cleveland, Frances robles in Miami, Stacy M. Brown in Harrisburg, PA and Kathleen gray in Lansing, Mich.