Election Exhaustion

Election+Exhaustion

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Michelle Engler

No matter who you were rooting for in the presidential election, I think we can all agree that the 2020 election season was exhausting. I sat on the couch for 36 hours straight watching the Nevada number stay exactly the same and yet I was sure that if I left my seat, I’d miss something. There now sits a permanent valley in my couch from where I did not dare to move from so I could feel like the first in the nation to hear the winner. But luckily we’re on the other side of it, and it’s important to take a look on what made this election so much more exhausting, besides the counting of the votes lasting as long as it did. 

 

Voter Suppression has been a topic of conversation for every election, and this election year (despite practically everything else changing), is no different. The debate of whether voter suppression exists or not continued this election season with even more heat. But first, let me assure you, that it definitely exists. 2020 brought a new wave of voter suppression with the increase of mail in ballots due to the Coronavirus pandemic. An example of this increasingly popular form of suppression is in Texas. The governor instituted a system where there is only one ballot drop off box per county. This made it very difficult for many people to travel the long ways to their one and only drop off box. This especially affected minority communities as drop off locations were closed in their areas. However, we now see that the entire effort of mail in voting has been questioned in fear of voter fraud. The issue many have with absentee voting is how easily votes could be thrown out because of a hard to read signature or other minor detail. Even the simple act of using a Sharpie to fill out a person’s ballot could cause so much trouble and cause the ballot to not be counted. This issue has since been debunked, as have most of the complaints that people have with mail in voting. Many also worry about how a person could vote multiple times, which they can’t, or that the person a ballot was sent to is dead and a living person votes under the name of the deceased, which again is so improbable that the American people shouldn’t have wasted their time thinking about it. 

Voter suppression is just one of the challenges we faced during this election season. Without even mentioning how we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, hurricanes are ravaging the south, and murder hornets are still buzzing around. We, the American people, have to give everyone a voice and voting is that voice. I’m not going to lie, one of the things I am thankful this Thanksgiving is the fact the election is over. 

 

Whether you rejoiced or mourned about the election’s results, it is important that we don’t stop here. There is so much to get done in this country and in the world, and just because there’s a new administration it doesn’t mean everything will now be bubbly and good. We have to keep challenging this new administration to get things done, to end systemic race, to act on the climate crisis, to fix our healthcare system. Because if we just keep waiting until the next election or the next presidency, nothing will ever change. 

 

We are the next generation. We are inheriting the world from our parents and grandparents and it is important that we make our voices heard starting now. 

LA Times