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Reflecting on my vote in an historic election


Although former Vice President Joe Biden was declared as the President-elect by media outlets this Saturday—to which many Americans celebrated—the nation remains skeptical that the election is truly over.

As a first-time voter, this election was a memorable one. While I assumed that the nation’s next president would not be announced by the end of Election Day, I did not anticipate what ultimately became four days of experiencing election-induced anxiety. During this period, I experienced an emotional contestation between confidence and skepticism and, at points, having completely no idea what would happen next.

I think that the craziest moment occurred when I fell asleep with Trump leading, only to wake up to Biden taking the edge in several swing states. However, most nights for me ended well past midnight as I watched Steve Kornaki (always dressed in the same attire) discuss the counting situation in the same counties in the remaining four swing states, awaiting any sliver of news that would produce an uncontested result.

This anxiety somewhat remains, as the country awaits the response of the incumbent president, who has remained relatively quiet while the majority of the nation celebrated a Biden victory over the weekend. According to his campaign website, Trump has been preparing a legal suit over the recorded results, ultimately refusing to concede. The thought that this election may not be over is a frightening one that I am sure exists in the back of every American’s head right now.

However, we must ensure that the uncertainties of this election do not overshadow the history of the Biden-Harris ticket. Kamala Harris was named not only the first female Vice President-elect, but the first Black woman of South Asian heritage that will take office.

The emotions surrounding this election, however, have tuned out the reason behind why the race was so unnatural in the first place: the fact that our country is immersed in a global pandemic. On the day that Biden was named the President-elect, the United States reported upwards of 130,000 COVID-19 cases—the highest single day report yet.

This election was characterized by a canceled presidential debate, millions of mail-in ballots, and precautions at the voting polls. I was personally upset by the fact that my first voting experience occurred at the same desk that I do my schoolwork on, and was then dropped off at the nearest mailbox I could find. As uneventful as it felt, my faith in the democratic system still gave me a surge of happiness as I mailed my absentee ballot.

Although I was disappointed not to experience the normal excitement surrounding Election Day, I think that this election was an important one to be a part of, especially as a first-time voter. The nation was reminded that every vote matters and should be counted. At an increasing rate, young voters showed up—and we, as students, should be proud to take part of this process regardless of opinions on the outcome.

Featured Image courtesy of Phil Roeder via Flickr Creative Commons

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Reflecting on my vote in an historic election