Trump or Biden: America boards up ahead of US election results
For most voters in the US, however, foreign policy has little impact on their everyday life and was low on voter priorities.
As Americans cast their votes in Tuesday's presidential election, the world watched closely, especially allies in the Middle East and Europe, and rivals such as Russia, China and Iran, as the election outcome could see a drastic change in US foreign policy. For most voters in the US, however, foreign policy has little impact on their everyday life and was low on voter priorities.
Following an anxiety-packed presidential campaign that deepened political divisions and intolerance in the United States, Americans streamed to the polls on Tuesday to choose either another four years with Donald Trump, or a new era with Joe Biden.
The pandemic-battered nation has been soul-searching throughout this campaign, calling the election a fight for the future of America.
As polling stations operated across the nation, more and more store fronts were being boarded up in major cities in preparation for potential civil unrest - as though the challenges of a pandemic-held election weren't enough.
New York City and Washington looked like the covered-up early summer versions of themselves, as business owners took various security precautions ahead of Tuesday night. Friends and families wished one another to stay safe, as though the country was going into battle rather than an election.
"The universal mood is of pervasive anxiety, enhanced by an inability to effect the outcome and despair as we stare at what may happen. Not good," said Eli Epstein, a New York resident who was voting for Joe Biden.
Sandy, another New York Democrat, told Khaleej Times that the levels of uncertainty were unbearable.
"The news makes me crazy because we really don't know from all the polls and predictions. The year 2016 proved all the polls wrong. I think we are all nervous that if Trump loses, he will not step down gracefully and the country will be even more divided and violent. It scares me."
Meanwhile, Republicans we spoke with expressed more optimism. Bryan Leib, a former GOP Congressional Candidate and Jewish Voices for Trump Coalition Member, said there was "more excitement amongst Trump voters today than there was in 2016". Leib predicted the largest electoral college victory in US history, saying that "the American people will send a strong message today - that they want four more years of President Trump".
Ahead of Election Day, just over 100 million voters cast early ballots either by mail or in person, and if this voter trend continues to the end, voter turnout would shatter records.
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