2020 election did little to ease student’s burdens

Michael Darwin, Contributing Writer

2020 was complicated. Our country managed to close the year with protests, controversy, lawsuits, conspiracy theories, riots and plenty of unwashed hands. As a full-time student during these events, the mental burdens my fellow classmates and I are dealing with is at an all-time high. 

The amount of information I was required to keep in my brain on a daily basis was demanding. Am I missing any assignments for my classes? Do I have a Spanish test next week? Have I followed up with that new construction client regarding their pending home inspection? Does the lender have all the necessary paperwork so they can close on time?

In addition to these thoughts, troubles about the pandemic, the holiday season, friends, family and of course the election factored in as well.

I believe I can speak for everyone when I say last year’s election was supposed to relieve tensions, not add to them. 

For weeks we heard the same predictions. Fox News informed us that this election would be close, CNN said Biden was ahead by multiple points. 

Come November, the opportunity to put this whole charade behind us was finally at hand.

Nov. 3 was supposed to be the day we would know who would be president the next four years and many stresses regarding that event would no longer be nagging at the forefront of our brains. 

From a student’s perspective, all I want at this point is for the election to be over and that we would have peace in our country. The ongoing recounting and dragging out of the electoral process was unneeded stress heaped into the minds of college students who are already busy striving for degrees and certificates through disorganized online classes and endless virtual meetings.

From the perspective of a student voter, I believed every ballot should count. The time it took for our government to tally the votes was unacceptable. It had been obvious from the beginning mail-in ballots were going to be a massive percentage of those submitted because of the pandemic’s restrictions and health concerns. Hard deadlines and an appropriate number of staff could have been implemented in order for all mail-in ballots to have been submitted and counted on or just before election night.

Because our states were blindsided with the number of mail-in ballots received, the counting took longer than expected. We all wanted a fair election and we all wanted a fast election. It is not my intention to come off as unrealistic, but the amount of time it took to reach a conclusion in the election led to more and more mental burden on students like me.

Each day without official results brought forth videos and accusations of voter fraud. Each day brought new conspiracy theories stating China has been interfering with our elections. Each day we heard rumors about how dead people somehow cast a vote. Each day we heard about how our country had been utilizing the mail-in voting system for decades without any evidence of foul play.

2020 was detrimental to our schooling, our jobs and our daily lives. As a student, I want nothing more than for all of this to pass so that we can go back to normal, if that is even an option anymore.