Student Government hosted a postelection discussion via Microsoft Teams on Friday afternoon.
The presentation, led by Rebecca Deen, associate professor and chair of political science, aimed to give students context for understanding the 2020 general election. Organized by Corrina Sullivan, Student Government Chief of Staff, the event was attended by more than 20 students, including Senators Tony Pham and Rebecca Roten.
As of Saturday, Joe Biden is projected to win the presidency after a win in Pennsylvania on Saturday morning put him past the required threshold of 270 Electoral College votes, according to The Associated Press. Votes are still being counted in many states, including Georgia and North Carolina, which have yet to be called.
“Voters were going to be motivated by the pandemic and their reaction to the president,” Deen said.
The COVID-19 pandemic created the need for states to amend their laws regarding absentee ballots, mail-in ballots and early voting, she said. States such as Texas expanded their windows for early voting. Early voters in Texas seemed to vote largely Democratic.
More Republican voters were expected to vote on Election Day. This is largely attributed to President Donald Trump’s claims that mail-in ballots and the early voting process were fraudulent in nature, she said.
Deen compared Texas to Pennsylvania, two states that trended one way in early voting and a different way on Election Day. She noted that Texas counts its early votes first and Pennsylvania counts them last.
Regardless of the election’s outcome, Deen said the U.S. was strongly divided and will need to heal as it navigates a tumultuous time in history. She urged students to take some deep breaths, go outside and take a walk.
“If you are feeling anxious about this election,” she said. “Know that you have some tools at your disposal to make sense of this so that you don’t let your emotions overwhelm you.”
Resources include the MAVS Talk 24-Hour Crisis Line, which is available for students at 817-272-8255.
Counseling and Psychological Services is available to students and can be contacted by calling 817-272-3671 to schedule an appointment or speak with a counselor, according to its website. CAPS offers services through telehealth options including Zoom health care and telephone.