The US Embassy reported an 800 per cent increase in voter participation among the "thousands who reside in the twin isles" this year compared to the last US election in 2016.
In a release Tuesday evening, the embassy said 333 mail-in ballots were cast in TT. “This election period, the United States saw an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots submitted, primarily due to precautions taken for the covid19 pandemic,” the embassy said. US ambassador Joseph Mondello also cast his vote and praised the democratic process, commending the “sacred tradition of the peaceful transfer of power in a democracy.”
“We’re very fortunate indeed to be living in the United States, and to be able to get out every four years for the presidency and cast our vote as to who we think is the right person to lead our nation. I think the United States does it right,” Mondello, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, said via the release. “Winston Churchill said it best, democracy is the worst form of government… except for all other forms of government,” he quipped, as a reminder of the continuous work and engagement required by all US citizens to make democracy work.
Newsday columnist Debbie Jacob voted via absentee ballot. Jacob, who votes in the swing state of Ohio, said she had voted every election since she turned 18. “I thought the most historic and most important election we would ever have was when (Barack) Obama won the presidency but now this one by far seems like the most important to me. Because I hate to sound like a (Joe) Biden campaign ad but this really is a vote for the soul of a country,” she said.
This election has been particularly tense, as the world waits to see if the incumbent Republican candidate Trump retains the presidency or if he will be unseated by Democratic former vice president Joe Biden. The race is uncertain, with pundits predicting a landslide for Biden… or else being too close to call. Trump has already signalled his intention to challenge the result if he loses and has cast doubt in speeches at rallies and on Twitter on sanctity of the mail-in voting process.
For election day, the embassy’s public affairs section also hosted a mock-election, where staff submitted their ballots to decide what the definitive American fare is: hamburgers vs hotdogs. Hamburgers won by a landslide, receiving 80 per cent of the vote.