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What Georgia Voters Think Of The Elections

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

All right. Let's go now to Georgia, where vote counting does continue. Georgia could end up being decisive in the race for the White House and control of the Senate. And a Democratic presidential candidate has not won the state since 1992, but increasing diversity and growing suburbs have made it a tossup. As NPR's Sarah McCammon reports, people in the state are sharply divided about the election.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Like so many Americans, Anashay Wright's suburban Atlanta home has become her haven the last several months. She's turned the garage into what she calls her diva den, with an area rug and sofa for entertaining guests with the door open on warmer days.

ANASHAY WRIGHT: We've created that since COVID, and we spend a lot of time here. It's a office. It's a storage. It's a living room. You name it. It's everything.

MCCAMMON: Wright is 41 and runs an education nonprofit. She voted for former Vice President Biden. Between these walls, she says President Trump's name is seldom spoken, but this week he's been hard to ignore.

WRIGHT: There's something to people who don't get they way and that have temper tantrums like him - right? - the fragility because something don't go your way. How dare you?

MCCAMMON: Trump supporter Catherine McDonald is 55 and lives in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. For her, what's unfolding now seems to confirm the warnings she's heard from the president and conservative media.

CATHERINE MCDONALD: I have been hearing about this for months, if not the last year, that there were going to be a lot of challenges; that with how divided the country is, that the Democrat side was fully prepared to try to cast as much doubt as possible on the outcome.

MCCAMMON: To be clear, President Trump has filed an array of lawsuits challenging results in multiple key states and has claimed without evidence that Democrats are trying to steal the election. Election experts have been predicting for months that counting early and absentee ballots would take a while due to the pandemic. In East Atlanta, Biden supporter Bethany Lind Mendenhall also worries about divisions in the country that have been once again laid bare by this election.

BETHANY LIND MENDENHALL: We have family members who listen to completely different voices and news sources than we do, and we see things very differently. But I want to be able to have conversations, but it's like we're operating in different realities.

MCCAMMON: Mendenhall and her husband Eric are in their late 30s with two kids. Eric hopes Biden will prevail but says he's disappointed with the way this election is unfolding.

ERIC MENDENHALL: I was hopeful that it would be decisive and clear and that there would be a denouncement of the last four years, that we could at least see a general consensus across the country that this isn't who we are.

MCCAMMON: In midtown Atlanta, retired lawyer Al Lindseth says he reluctantly voted for President Trump. He dislikes Trump's demeanor and almost didn't vote for him after his first debate performance, which he found undisciplined and rude. But he's more concerned by where he believes the left wing of the Democratic Party wants to take the country.

AL LINDSETH: People are so easily offended these days. People are concerned about division now. They should have been here in the '60s, when we had rioting in the streets. We were worried about going to a war and getting shot. I just think we worry about a lot of things in this country, and they're not our major concerns. I'll put it like that. We've got other problems that we should worry about.

MCCAMMON: Lindseth says he wouldn't mind seeing a Biden presidency as long as Republicans hold the Senate. Back at her home in suburban Atlanta, Anashay Wright says whatever the outcome of the election, she hopes the lessons of the Trump years won't be forgotten.

WRIGHT: I think what Biden offers is - I hate to say it - like, this false sense of unity, right? Like, what I don't - what I'm scared that might happen is that people actually might get comfortable again. And, OK, that's my biggest fear.

MCCAMMON: Wright says a Biden presidency could buy some time for Americans to pause and reflect on the future after a tense four years.

Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Atlanta. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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