Living north of the border in Saskatoon, Simon Hiatt won’t be one of the millions of Americans that go to the polls for the presidential election on Tuesday.
But being a dual citizen, Hiatt, who lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a child, voted via absentee ballot in that state.
“Full kudos to them, they make the system incredibly easy. I mean you know you hear about people lining up for hours, and maybe mail getting lost, all these sorts of things. The process for me couldn't have been any easier. I requested my absentee ballot via email, I was able to print that off, scan it, email it back to them, and the next day I got a confirmation saying your ballot has been received.”
Because of so many mail-in ballots, the results of the election may not come to light immediately, and President Donald Trump has hinted that he may not accept the results, whenever they are known, were he to lose.
“One of the things that makes this election so interesting is we literally don't know what to expect,” said U of S political studies lecturer Jason Zorbas.
“I think it's certainly possible, given what we've seen from him, that he might not accept the results,” said Hiatt. “No matter how bitter American elections have been throughout history, there's always been that peaceful transfer of power, it's kind of a hallmark of democracy, and you hope that continues. But if there was ever a year where there's a wild card, I think this is probably the one.”
That would create even more division in the country, according to Paula Collins, who moved to Saskatoon from Kentucky.
“When you have leadership that has shown, has said publicly that there is going to be issues, when you've had people who have-when the Biden-Harris bus was traveling, and we've had people try to run them off the road, that was before the election. So imagine when [Biden and Harris] win what's going to happen,” she said.
Collins also cast her vote with an absentee ballot, and says isn’t shy about saying there should be a change in leadership.
“There's a lot of troubled times,” she said, referencing the shooting of Breonna Taylor in her home state of Kentucky. “With the outcome of not seeing justice being served, yeah, there's major issues, major issues.”
Hiatt says it’s been difficult “to see such division” in the United States, when it comes to politics, the COVID-19 pandemic, and social issues like Black Lives Matter, saying it’s been “really tough to watch”.
“It's certainly not inconceivable that there could be violence, there could be rioting, I wouldn't be surprised if one way or another, there were at least protesting,” he said of the election results.
“I do I love the country, and I hope that it's — I believe it will survive this, no matter what happens. It'll be fine. And eventually, it'll trend towards the way, hopefully, things should go. I love the United States, but I'm a little worried for it right now.”