ORANGE, Calif.—On the morning after the 2020 presidential election, a random sampling of voters in Orange County, California, revealed them to be concerned about the delay in the reporting of election results.
The Epoch Times spoke to people in Old Towne, the City of Orange's historic district, to see what they thought of the election. Most said that the ongoing counting of ballots was causing them stress, and some questioned the integrity of the process.
Michael Thomas, 32, said he was happy about the voter turnout. He thinks the more people interested in voting, the more likely the country will pull together quickly.
“So far I'm really pleased to see the overwhelming amount of voter turnout. I think this is great for the country,” Thomas told The Epoch Times.
“Actually, the process as a whole makes me feel like there's hope for the future in terms of salvaging what was really a country in decline—but then that's regardless of which way we vote.”
Thomas, who lives in the City of Orange, said the large turnout was "a good sign" that "there's a lot of hope and optimism to pull this country together again.”
He said he wasn’t surprised about the delay in the election results because of the COVID-19 pandemic and mail-in voting. But he said mail-in ballots should have been collected and counted in the “key battleground states” to avoid the delay in announcing a winner.
Thomas believed the delay was caused not by the number of mail-in ballots, but by a “failure of certain state governments in getting the ball rolling on mail-in ballots.”
“California’s not one of them. It's [the] key battleground states which didn't even start counting the ballots until Election Day,” he said.
“There probably wouldn't be any delays like what we're experiencing right now—and we wouldn't have cases where both sides are eager to claim victory in all the battleground states—if they started counting in the mail-in ballots and sorting them a little sooner.
“I think I read that Pennsylvania didn't even start sorting and gathering their mail-in ballots until Election Day, so that's a sign that our elected officials and the Registrar of Voters and county officials have all really just dropped the ball.”
Kathy, a resident of the City of Orange, told The Epoch Times that she thinks the high volume of mail-in voting has created confusion.
“I think this is a very good time for all of us to learn patience and not expect immediate results, because it's never been done this way before. So we all just need to wait and let the experts figure it out,” she said.
Emmanuel Barragan and his friend Karla Delapena, both 18 years old, said they're patiently awaiting the election results like everyone else.
Barragan, who lives in Orange, told The Epoch Times that he understood the delay as votes are counted, but said waiting "pushed the feelings of stress"—so he is staying away from social media “for the sake of my sanity.”
“I understand why, because of the copious amount of mail-in votes and how they had to count them, so I don't really mind it,” Barragan said.
Delapena said: “I think you just have to be patient. I mean, this whole thing sucks. No matter who wins, there's going to be chaos.”
Along with a lot of other people, she's “feeling very anxious,” she said, but thinks it’s important to be patient “because there's really nothing else that we can do but wait right now.”
“And although it's very nerve-racking, I don't know, I just feel like we have to be calm during these times because it's a lot to take in mentally.”
Lois Mink, an elderly visitor from Cape Cod, told The Epoch Times she was disappointed that the conclusion of the election was delayed.
“I'm disappointed that there’s not a conclusion at this point. I was hoping to know who the winner was,” Mink said.
“I also think that there is corruption on the Democrat side, and so I feel uneasy about once we do come to a conclusion that it's going to be the right one. I’m very concerned about the process. I just don’t think that the process is honest.”
Two friends, who declined to give their names, told The Epoch Times while sitting at an outdoor cafe and sipping coffee that they both voted for President Donald Trump, and were disappointed to see the election results remain so close.
“I'm somewhat disappointed so far in what we’re seeing,” said one of the men, a Costa Mesa resident.
A white man in his late 60s, the Costa Mesa resident said he's “not too optimistic” about the election’s outcome, adding that he was confused how a president who has done so many things for this country could not win a second term. He said he voted for Trump in 2016 because the president's pro-life values aligned with his own.
“I'm not a fan necessarily of his personality, but I put personality aside and look at what he's accomplished,” he said. “So far, I'm a little bit pessimistic that we're [not] going to see a repeat of him for another four years. ... Hopefully there's a turn to the unexpected and that doesn't happen.”
Sitting next to him, his friend told The Epoch Times that he believes it might take a while to see the winner.
“This is going to be a long process, unfortunately,” the man, a Yorba Linda resident also in his 60s, said.
“I got the opinion that everything's gonna be free in the Biden administration: no student debt, social medicine. Where’s that money going to come from? Nothing’s free.”
The Yorba Linda man said he's concerned about the “radical left.” He mentioned businesses in California and across the country that have boarded up their windows to avoid post-election riots, and said he can't remember a time in his life when he would see an area that doesn’t have law and order.
He also questioned “election protocol, and how you do it,” saying he thought the delay in election results had been “preplanned.”
“It was a battle last night. All of a sudden the counting stopped. And I think they had to get a judge involved," he said. "So there's a lot of things that I think are going to be tried that are illegal to try to disrupt this election.
"So it's getting pretty wild."