OPINION: Unknown presidential results serve as reminder of limited powers

(Archive Photo by Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for: Nov. 4. The day we thought everything might just calm down a little bit. Decisions would be made, campaigning would be over and hopefully, we could all move on a little bit with our lives.

But it wouldn’t be 2020 without a curveball or two. It goes without saying the 2020 elections didn’t conclude the way we usually see. It’s Nov. 4 and the next president of the United States remains undecided.

Mail-in ballots were at an all-time high this year because of COVID-19 and associated safety precautions. However, there are still a few answers that we did get.

In Riley County, the County Commission races were notably close. Results are unofficial, but Republicans Greg McKinley and John Matta took the lead in both the District 2 and District 3 races.

This was mildly surprising considering the strong campaigns of two female Democrats with noticeably large support systems coupled with Manhattan’s young voting demographic. District 2 Democratic nominee Fanny Fang even had a name for her supporters: The Fanny Pack.

Republican Rep. Roger Marshall came out in front of Democrat Barbara Bollier in the race for Sen. Pat Roberts’ seat. Also, Republicans won the 1st Congressional District race with Tracey Mann ahead of Kali Barnett with a huge margin.

These red results aren’t entirely surprising considering Kansas’ Republican voting history. Still, college students in Manhattan, who statistically have a tendency to lean left, were sorely disappointed.

Aside from local and state elections, other historic results came in last night too.

Oregon made history by being the first state to decriminalize the possession of drugs like heroin, cocaine and LSD.

Also, according to NPR, the states of Arizona, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota voted to legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. This was a small, but notable step in the right direction for the legalization of the weed. Now, 15 states and the District of Columbia allow some use of marijuana.

While these results are all interesting, it is undeniable the results of the presidential race are the most sought after. Not knowing them brings a feeling of unease.

However, with the other decisions made last night, one thing was made clear: U.S. politics and the decisions being made that deeply affect our lives come from countless places outside of the Executive Branch.

America is beautiful because of the checks and balances the nation provides through the three branches of government — not to mention our Federalist system grants substantial powers to state and local governments.

Additionally, it’s important to note individuals in this country are granted an enormous amount of personal freedom and choice, regardless of who the president might be. That’s thanks to our Constitution and the 27 amendments that grant human rights to all, no matter skin color, religion, gender or class.

So it is Nov. 4 and we’re unsure who the president will be. I’m going to find peace by making the decision to go out and live my life as though everything will still be OK, because it will be.

Anna Schmidt is the Collegian opinions editor and a junior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and the persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.