‘A lot more stress’: UC Berkeley students express concern over uncertain presidential election

Photo of a student dropping off a ballot
Brian Bi/File
Votes for the 2020 elections are still being counted as of press time, and so far Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has received 264 of the needed 270 electoral votes and President Donald Trump has received 214, according to The Associated Press.

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As the United States waits to learn the results of the 2020 elections, UC Berkeley students expressed anxiety over the uncertain nature of the presidential race. 

Votes are still being counted as of press time, and so far Democratic candidate Joe Biden has received 264 of the needed 270 electoral votes and President Donald Trump has received 214, according to The Associated Press. Many UC Berkeley students have turned to social media to share their concerns about the high stakes and uncertain results of the election.

“The significant amount of mail-in ballots have made this election more stressful,” said campus junior Emilio Sanchez. “In previous elections that I’ve experienced, all the counting has been done on Election Day. I think that’s caused a lot more stress.”

Sanchez added that the stress of delayed election results has been exacerbated by rapidly changing projections as well as Trump’s actions, including calling his win on the night of the election.

Briana Gonzalez, a campus junior, also expressed concern over Trump’s rhetoric, adding that she believes he will try to disenfranchise voters who mailed in their ballots. 

“He basically claimed a victory, regardless of the fact that millions of ballots are still being counted,” Gonzalez said. “He’s picking what’s convenient for him but forgetting that democracy doesn’t work that way, and it’s just frustrating and annoying to watch.”

Multiple students emphasized the high stakes of the election. Sanchez said he believes climate change wouldn’t get addressed under a second Trump administration, and he added that the “inhumane” camps where immigrants are currently being held near the southern border would be continued.

Nerina Campos, a UC Berkeley junior, said she felt “scared” as an immigrant about the potential repercussions of the election, regardless of who wins, because of far-right rhetoric she has seen spreading on social media. 

Gonzalez also expressed concern over the potential impact of the election on issues of abortion and health care. 

“A lot of these issues will affect me directly, whether it’s because I am low income or whether it’s because I’m a female,” Gonzalez said. “When I’m constantly thinking of how it can affect me later, whether it’s my choices or the choices of people who I am willing to support, it’s frustrating to think that someone has the power to limit our choices.”

Campus senior Gabriell Padua added that while the race seems to be in Biden’s favor, Trump still has a significant chance of winning. 

Even if Biden does win, Padua said, approximately half of the country is “either complacent or more than OK” with reelecting Trump.

“About 68 million people have voted for Trump, which is alarming,” Padua said. “Even if Biden is elected president, moving forward, that’s 68 million people who aren’t going to listen to him and who aren’t going to be happy with the election. That’s probably the most troubling part.”

Contact Alexandra Feldman and Natalie Lu at [email protected].