With presidential candidates Joe Biden and President Donald Trump currently claiming 253 and 214 electoral votes respectively, the nation is anxiously awaiting the remaining 71 electoral votes to determine the fate of the next four years.
Students are among those holding their breath as the final points are tallied, with thousands of absentee ballots going through the hand-counting process.
However, computer science junior Ryan Jones said this delay caused by late counting of votes might lead to an inaccurate decision.
“The issue currently I see is that with this delay, we have a debate between security and risking voices,” Jones said. “This is always a tricky situation, but unfortunately one that security generally wins. The risk with every risk is so drastic security-side [that] if we don’t try to handle it, the entire election could be decided by misinformation. I do feel bad for those left out, but I’d rather the election miss two votes than count 100 wrongly.”
Jones, who works in cybersecurity on campus, said he wants all voices to be heard, but wants this pivotal election to stay beyond doubt.
“In my line of work, we typically see the government is really only better than the free market at war, and even then, only in terms of manpower,” Jones said. “As for personally, I am very much a fan of doing my own thing, and thus prefer to stay out of others’ things. So if it isn’t clear enough, I want things fair and open so everyone has a chance to do what they want or need to.”
Another student, business administration freshman Elias Will, said the delay is to be expected due to the number of mail-in ballots this year, which is no cause for concern.
“I personally am not worried about delays considering that this is the most mail-in ballots we’ve ever had, which takes more time to count,” Will said.
What does concern Will is the future of America’s economic prosperity, which he said will vary depending on which candidate makes it into the White House.
“As for what happens to our economy, it depends on who wins,” Will said. “If Trump wins I think our economy will continue to make its way back to looking somewhat of what it was before the virus [COVID-19] with him slowly opening things back up. If Biden is elected, however, I think our economy will start to decline as he plans to be more strict on what and when businesses are open.”
No matter the outcome, businesses around the country are preparing for potential violence and vandalism after results are announced.
“Along with that, the partisan divide is becoming a totem burning match,” Jones said. “At this point, I doubt either side actually gets what the other is thinking or trying to debate.”
Students like economics sophomore Debra Wawi said they feel great anxiety while waiting for results.
“It’s honestly incredibly nerve-wracking, and I’ve had to distract myself from refreshing the results because I know it won’t do me any good,” Wawi said. “I can feel the tension on campus because we are so divided, and it is obvious. We have a current leader who incites division, violence and bigotry through his words and actions, and I am praying for a change. I want people to be kinder and more understanding, but there is just so much hatred right now.”
This election is Wawi’s first in the United States after moving from Qatar, and she said the division is palpable. As people with world experience, Wawi said she and her family appreciate democracy but fear for the outcome of this particular election.
“I keep asking my parents if the energy or vibe of this election is similar to others and they tell me it’s never been this bad,” Wawi said. “My mom is Venezuelan and my dad is Lebanese so they know what it’s like to live in countries without established democracies, and so they value the ability to vote here. It’s been hard because they hear the rhetoric of our current president and worry about his desire for power and control.”