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Days After Presidential Election, Anxious Floridians Await Results

Elections 2020
Rebecca Blackwell/AP
A man wearing a flag-themed body stocking waves from a car as hundreds of vehicles gather at Tropical Park ahead of a car caravan in support of President Donald Trump, in Miami, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Two days after Election Day, the results of the presidential race are still unclear. Several states are still counting votes as an anxious nation looks on. While Florida’s election went off without the problems that have plagued the state in the past, Floridians are casting a glance out at states that are still in progress, and holding their breath, too.

“I think this is a really stressful time and what happens in the next 48 hours is going to determine basically, the future,” said Nicholas Jensen, a Leon county resident. He was drawn to the polls Tuesday by his dislike of President Donald Trump.

"Trump has done everything to convince people that they can't vote or shouldn't vote or their vote doesn't matter. And if he doesn't want us to have power, then we should take [him] down because he is a bad, very evil person,” said Jensen.

This wasn’t Jensen's first-time voting, but it was for Artis Lewis, who cast a ballot for similar reasons.

“It’s important for me to get out to vote because for people in my community, we feel like our voice is not heard,” he said. “I wanted to vote to make sure that my peers around me, people growing up under me, and family members all know how important is to vote. If I'm out voting, [then] you should be voting to.”

In Florida, mail-in voting has long been popular, especially with Republicans, but this year saw a reversal as Democrats sent their votes in by mail and a greater number of Republicans cast their ballots Election Day. Those voting on Election Day largely had the same concerns: fear about their vote not counting and worries about whether absentee ballots would be secure.

“I love the rush of casting my vote on the last day that I can. It also gives me an excuse not to go to work. While I could have voted weeks ago, I like to give the last word and get my vote in on the day of elections. I also didn’t want to mail in my vote because it just doesn’t feel secure to me and I like doing things the old fashion way,” said Joseph Meyers.

It was a hard sell for South Florida native Cherone Thomas, who decided to wait until Election Day to vote, because the choice of candidates wasn’t appealing.

“I didn’t vote early because I had a lot of other things going on in my life but I knew I would vote at some point. Although I knew who I was going to vote for, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about voting. Luckily the line wasn’t too long to wait in and I did all of my research before voting,” said Thomas, who didn’t say who she voted for.

University of Florida professor Michael McDonald runs electproject.org, a website that tracks elections outcomes across the country. According to his data, nearly 160 million ballots were cast across the country during the General Election, with 66% voter turnout. That’s far higher than the 60% of registered voters who cast ballots in 2016. The outcome of the election in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada remain unknown at the time of this story. These states will determine who will be the next President, and this time, instead of being the center of attention, Floridians will watch from the sidelines.

I am Adriana Alexander, a broadcast journalism senior at Florida A&M University (FAMU). I currently write stories for the FAMU campus newspaper, The FAMUAN and produce content for FAMU’s radio station, 90.5. As a former anchor of the News 20 at 5 FAMU newscast, I also edited video packages and worked as an associate producer. I own AEA Visuals, a media company focused on producing quality photography, videography, and graphic design. Multimedia journalism is my passion and is what I will continue to do throughout my career.
Sha’Tara Simmons is a journalism student at Florida A&M University.