Elections shouldn’t be this stressful

Nour Faragallah

More stories from Nour Faragallah

Like many Americans on November 3, my family and I sat in front of the TV at 8 p.m. watching CNN and waiting for the election results. Due to the increased use of mail-in ballots this election, I knew that we would not get the election results that night, but I still thought we would have a clear direction of who was winning. I was incredibly stressed that day, and it wasn’t just me. All the news anchors on TV seemed tremendously tense, up until the official announcement of Biden’s win.

And it just should not be this way.

First off, counting should not have taken that long. In many countries this year that did elections, mail-in ballots were delivered to the board of election buildings almost a month(s) in advance. Not just that but in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, the republican-run state legislatures didn’t allow the counting of ballots until election day, which delayed the results. You can’t say the same for the other states that had immediate results that night.

Delayed results gave Trump and his supporters a chance to rant on Twitter about meaningless voter fraud accusations. People say that Biden got votes out of nowhere overnight, even though what happened is that the count of mail-in ballots had begun, which skewed blue.

And it is more than just election stress. I felt like my life and the lives of others are in danger and on the line. This isn’t new, many voters felt this way in 2016. And it just should not be this way. We should not fear for our lives every four years. Moral issues should not be debatable.

If it makes you feel better, though, this is a bipartisan issue. The American Psychological Association found that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) say that the 2020 U.S. presidential election is a significant source of stress in their life. The political affiliation breakdown is 76% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 64% of Independents.

There were also moments during election days where it felt awful. There was one Thursday night where many people including myself who were obsessing over 1,000 votes in Georgia. Even though nationally in the popular vote Biden at that point was leading Trump with over 3 million votes.

In a way, I love the adrenalin that comes in with the election, and the hype and campaigning leading up to it, but I do hope that in 2024, elections will be a little friendlier.