With the year 2020 almost at a close, the United States is still working on two major issues: managing the widespread COVID-19 pandemic and putting the recent presidential election to rest. Many agree that each has affected the other, bringing unprecedented challenges for politicians and constituents throughout the country.
Though Nov. 4 has passed, this election still feels far from over, with President Trump claiming that massive amounts of election fraud led to Biden’s victory.
Distrust surrounding the legitimacy of mail-in ballots has caused a major rift. Throughout the 50 states, about 65 million votes made their mark as mail-in ballots, compared to the 33.5 million sent in for the 2016 election.
Even before voters took to the polls or mailed their ballots, division spouted from the immense political divide.
Senior psychology major and president of the Messiah University Democrats David Freda said, “This election without a doubt was one of the most tense and polarized we have ever seen. After the results and even before it, I think it has shown that our country is very divided.”
At Messiah, we have a diverse population filled with many first-time voters from all over the country and the world.
“College-aged voters are frustrated and had a lot on the line this election,” Freda said. “Issues such as low wages out of college, massive student debt, lack of affordable housing, racial tensions and much more.”
According to Vox, 53% of young voters cast their ballots in this election – a greater turnout than the 45% in 2016.
This influx of young voters may have directly contributed to Biden’s projected victory.
The New York Times shared their election break-down by demographics. Out of the 17% that made up young voters (ages 18-29), Biden claimed 60% of their votes, while Trump had a mere 36%.
Our campus also lives and operates in Pennsylvania, a battleground state coveted by presidential candidates. With the fight to find fraud, this state remains a hot topic.
At the time of writing, Pennsylvania still casts its 20 electoral votes for Biden. In addition, the state’s Supreme Court just tossed out a lawsuit aimed at the current mail-in law. This decision guarded against the nullification of 2.5 million mail-in ballots or the possibility of ruling the current decision void.
There’s still time until the swearing in on Jan. 20, and there is no doubt that contention will continue into the new year.
As we embark on a long winter break, Messiah students still carry our campus culture with us, extending love and forgiveness towards everyone.
“Jesus always wins and will never be taken away from us,” Freda said. “I have also reminded myself that Trump supporters, Biden supporters or whoever are people just like you and me.”