As the divisive 2020 election season comes to an end, tensions and emotions remain high, but a record voter turnout and unprecedented political participation from younger generations give many hope for the future.
As of November 7, the amount of votes for former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris reached a point where multiple media sources were confidently able to call the election. President Elect Biden and Vice President Elect Harris gave a victory speech Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware.
Even though the presidential election has been called in favor of Biden and Harris, their are still a lot of unknowns. Harris will become the first female to serve as the Vice President of the United States, adding another historic element to 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest and protests, and differing opinions on issues like remote learning and opening up the economy have left the country extremely divided.
“I see a trend where people are becoming increasingly less respectful of others’ opinions. While the lack of results so far has been frustrating… I hope that no matter who wins, people will be respectful and come together,” said CHS Senior Cameron Miller.
It is not just U.S. citizens following the results; the fate of this election will likely have an impact on the world as a whole.
CHS Senior Hunter Anderson said, “It’s kind of interesting how the whole world’s eye is on us right now… For being the United States, we are super divided as a country.”
In fact, close voter totals all over the country mean election night has turned into election week, and the extended time to count a record number of mail-in vote has left many unknowns.
CHS Junior Kaeli Rackham said, “It’s very stressful to watch and causes a lot of anxiety for me.”
CHS Senior Tomer Dagan said, “I personally think this election so far has been kind of a joke, with there being very little incentive on actual change and more a push for ‘unscrewing’ what the previous [administration] has done before them.”
While it may be stressful, one good thing that has come out of election season 2020 is record voter turnout. Nearly 160 million Americans have voted in the 2020 Presidential Election, according to CNBC.com.
Students recognize the power of their vote. CHS Senior Jacob Gray said, “I feel like this year especially, that it’s good for every young voter to vote. It’s crucial for our country that we make the right decision that’s best for the people.”
The record turnout in voting has caused major delays in counting the ballots in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona.
CHS Career and Technical Education teacher Brady Miletich said, “I anticipated that it would take a while to get the election results this year but still find myself frustrated with how long it is taking. I am learning a lot about how different states count their votes.”
CHS physics teacher Tristan Wells added, “Counting over a million votes takes time; even if you [have] a room of people doing it, it isn’t a simple process… but between the close line and the new rules due to the pandemic it is understandable that things will take a little longer this year,” Wells said.
As the number of uncounted votes get smaller and smaller, the country is bracing for a final decision, and people will have to come to terms with reality.
CHS Senior Maxwell Gregson is excited for the results to be in.
“I’m happy with the election. It’s not a victory of any candidate, it’s a victory of the American people! For democracy!” he said.