Temple University

Pennsylvania students fear unrest on election day

  • Students at Temple University in Philadelphia fear chaos as polls close in the key swing state
  • Shops are boarded up and students are avoiding travel
  • Results may be unclear for days, provoking further tension

Students at Temple University in Philadelphia fear further unrest in the battleground state of Pennsylvania as polls close on election day.

Abi Vangraafieland, a sociology major, described the atmosphere in Pennsylvania as “chaotic” in the run up to the election.

 The state has become a key battleground in recent years after switching from Democratic to Republican in 2016 by just 0.7% of the popular vote. Winning the state, and its 20 electoral college votes, is critical for both parties tonight.

Communities are “preparing for crazy protests to break out” according to Vangraafieland. She has already seen disruption as “Trump supporters have been stopping traffic and blocking bridges”. She says that “a huge divide” is evident in between conservatives and liberals in the state.

Fellow student Shacile Harrison described seeing shops being boarded up in recent days as both presidential candidates finished their campaigns in Pennsylvania. She said “I can’t believe this is happening in this state”.

“People are very anxious about the results, on both sides, and upset about what the result may be” says Harrison. “On Tuesdays I usually go to campus, but today I decided maybe it’s best not to go”. She adds “as a black international student, I don’t want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time”.


Vangraafieland fears that anxiety will increase as Pennsylvanians wait for results. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has urged Pennsylvanians to “remain calm and stay united” on election night. More days of chaos are predicted as the result of Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballots may not be clear until Friday.