To say that 2020 has been an overwhelming year would be an understatement. With a nationwide pandemic that has affected so many lives and protests against racial injustice and police brutality that have done the same, these tensions are what have led into this year’s election season. Both candidates have established completely different platforms to urge people to vote for them this year, and with the nation gradually growing more political in every aspect, both sides have seemed to divide now more than ever.  

This election year has been unique compared to others. Generally, 18 to 29-year old’s show the lowest voter turnout rate; but this year, there has been a historical increase in voter turnout for people in this age range. As many young people have begun to pay attention to what is going on in the world and how every vote could make a difference, they have done their civic duty. For the first time in years, SFA became an early voting station, allowing students and community members easy access to a voting location. Candidates this year have also learned their target audience and made information regarding their platforms accessible to young people to encourage their vote and opinion. 

While there has been an increase in voter education this year, in the same way, there has also been a decrease in voting locations and mail-in ballot locations in certain counties, resulting in voter suppression nationwide. This has had mixed reactions, causing some to be more encouraged to vote and others to not vote completely. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that America as a nation has been paying attention and has done their civil duty. 

So, now what? Is it over? Do we just wait? 

The truth is, I don’t know. As someone who has voted since they were 18, worked hard to be educated and chosen wisely and encouraged others to vote, I’m not sure what else I can do other than wait and be hopeful.  

When Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, I was disappointed, but I never allowed it to make me bitter. Was I angry or upset? Yes, but those feelings turned into a fire and a passion, and I continued to educate myself and worked hard to be a good person, accepting everyone for who they are. I was at peace with myself knowing that even though she didn’t win, one of her votes was from me, and that mattered.  

For the last four years, people have allowed the negative things happening in society to make them bitter and angry, and to say that someone doesn’t have a right to be angry would be wrong of me. Anger in itself isn’t a bad thing; it’s what you do with that anger than matters. This nation is already so divided as is, and so much has been riding on this election that those from both sides are afraid of what will happen if the other party wins. No matter what happens, it is important that we as people stick together and not let the results divide us.  

Disappointment will happen, it is inevitable. Livelihoods will be affected, and change will be implemented over time. But we as a nation have overcome so much, and we will continue to overcome if we stick together. 

Don’t let the election results change who you are, no matter who you voted for or what you believe in. Stay passionate for what you think is right, help educate others, fight for equality and for the justice of others who can’t fight for themselves and, ultimately, be a good person.

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