America waits for results
Election 2020 was still in the process of being decided early Thursday, Nov. 5, but the circumstances yielded an interesting opportunity to gauge the thoughts and feelings of people in the community as this national event unfolds.
“I’ve personally never been so anxious about an election,” Lewis Martin stated in a comment to The Herald’s Facebook post about the election. “I can only recommend patience. This needs to be done correctly and diligently.”
With Election Day having passed and Americans still not knowing if former Vice President Joe Biden was elected or if President Donald Trump was reelected, Martin did say in a phone interview that he was less surprised than he thought he would be.
“I remember the election of 2000,” he said, referring to the Bush-Gore presidential race in which results were finally decided by the Supreme Court that December.
Though that race was hotly contested, Martin stated that people’s mindsets were a lot different 20 years ago.
“We weren’t quite as factionalized as we are right now,” he said. “We’ve already got finger-pointing and things like that.”
But there are aspects of how the process is being handled that he finds encouraging.
“I like the fact that we aren’t rushing in,” he said. “Plus, look at the unprecedented amount of absentee voters. I voted absentee myself this year for the first time.”
He said the process went smoothly.
Martin, who is a Farmville native and current resident of Henrico County, said he optimistically hopes Election 2020 will be decided by the end of this week.
“Things have kind of hit a wall from what we’ve seen, and now we’ve got people filing suits, wanting recounts, and they didn’t have observers there and things like that,” he said. “That’s where it’s going to start dragging down once the court system gets involved.”
Hureen Gandhi, who lives elsewhere in Virginia and was visiting Farmville on Wednesday, said it was stressful when Trump said, early Wednesday morning that as far as he was concerned, he had won the election.
“We have to wait for the correct, right procedure to happen,” she said. “That’s sure adding much more to the stress factor. It’s not at all comforting.”
She described the times as very challenging and noted that the closeness of the election was quite telling.
“It makes you realize the country is so divided,” she said. “So that’s heart-breaking, and heart-breaking to see two different viewpoints so contradicting to each other, and yet we are.”
Some said they were not nervous about the situation, like Charles Carter.
“To each his own,” he said while walking through Wilck’s Lake Park. “Whatever happens, it happens. You can’t change it.”
He does hope the election process will be resolved soon, though.
“I hope we just go ahead and just get it over with,” he said.
He noted he appreciated the changes made to allow for more in-person early voting and mail-in voting this year but overall was taking a relaxed approach to the outcome of the election.
“It is what it is, you know what I’m saying, and life goes on,” he said. “So, that’s just the way I see everything.”
Em Wozniak, a junior at Longwood University, said she is nervous and has been for a while.
“Regardless of how it turns out, a lot’s going to happen, I guess,” she said. “I’m trying not to think about it as much as possible, but you can’t not.”
She said she promised herself she would not check her phone repeatedly, but she found herself doing so every five minutes.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a result for a little bit,” she said, noting it will be like the Bush-Gore race with recounts.
Abby Verling, also a junior at Longwood, said she was feeling uneasy about not knowing who was going to win.
“I guess either way, something big is going to happen, regardless of who wins the election,” she said. “It’s definitely kind of scary, especially for my minority friends and friends that are of the LGBT community, just kind of like a safety reason for them for main issues I think is kind of a scary thing depending on who wins the election and stuff like that for sure.”
She admitted she is not a very patient person, so she is ready to know who the winner of the presidential race will be.
“I stayed up all last night and no results, obviously, and now I’m here, checking my watch for my news updates every couple seconds,” she said.
Chris Armistead said he is not stressing over the election.
“Actually, I’m not even thinking about it because I kind of expected with all the mail-in votes and everything that nothing was going to be decided any time soon, so I’m just waiting to see what happens,” he said.
For years now, it seems like every election has been evenly split, he said.
“I don’t even think political parties are relevant anymore, honestly, because you look 49% and 49% on all the results, just about in every state, it’s like, alright time for political parties to get out of the way and let the independents take over,” he said.