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Even After Election Day, Some Tennessee Voters Expect To Feel Anxious

Stephen Jerkins

Election results are expected to take longer than usual this week — and election administrators say a winner might not be declared on Election Day.

WPLN News asked a cross-section of early voters how they expect to feel after results come in and found a bit of unease at the polls.

For some voters, like 34-year-old Kyle Harris, one looming question is whether the loser will accept the outcome. President Donald Trump has indicated he may object if he does not win.

“With Trump, you kind of never know,” says Harris, who lives in Hermitage. “He’s such a shoot-by-the-hip, wildcard kind of guy. But hopefully the powers that be will keep that kind of stuff under control.”

Another question is how the public will react, regardless of who the winner is.

“I just pray that it doesn’t turn into something big or riotous or chaotic. I know that it’s been very polarizing, and it can be hard to deal with those emotions,” said Jenna Scott, a mother of four who lives in Donelson.

For Rebecca Factor, a military veteran who lives in Nashville, the consequences of the election feel existential. If Trump does not win, she says, “I believe Jesus will be coming back very soon. And I am hopeful in that.”

Generally, though, voters said they hope for a decisive presidential outcome.

“I just want whoever won to actually win,” says Amber Collins, of Hermitage. “I want the people to be heard.”

Tony Gonzalez, a reporter in Nashville since July 2011, covers city news, features inspiring people, and seeks out offbeat stories. He’s also an award-winning juggler and hot chicken advocate who lives in East Nashville with his wife, a professional bookbinder. During his time at The Tennessean newspaper, his investigative reporting and feature stories were honored in the state and nationally. Gonzalez grew up near Chicago and came to Nashville after three years reporting and editing at Virginia's smallest daily newspaper, The News Virginian.
Emily Siner is an enterprise reporter at WPLN. She has worked at the Los Angeles Times and NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and her written work was recently published in Slices Of Life, an anthology of literary feature writing. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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