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Hoosiers express anxiety about unrest in wake of election results

A survey showed more than 66 percent of Americans say the 2020 election is a source of 'significant stress' in their lives.

INDIANAPOLIS — Businesses across the city boarded up their windows Monday, joining a growing list of cities across the country doing the same.

It's a sign of concern about the outcome of Tuesday's election, as some fear unrest.

"I've seen TikToks about places being boarded up and about riots happening, it's kinda scary,"  said IUPUI freshman Zoe Hendricks, who is from Florida, on Monday. She voted by mail last week.

"We all are American people. It's for the United States. We all need to come together," said Debra Wilburn.

That’s what Sadaf Kheiri of Carmel is hoping can happen when it’s over, but she admits she’s anxious at times when she looks at the current political climate.

“I have never felt this way. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or it’s just how everyone is so divided,” said Kheiri, who took two of her four children with her when she voted early. “They pick up on our anxiety and we need to make, ensure that they feel safe and they understand the process.” 

A survey by the American Psychological Association revealed, regardless of the party, more than 66 percent of Americans say the 2020 election is a source of significant stress in their life. That’s a big increase from 2016, when the number was 52 percent.

Indiana Humanities, a non-partisan non-profit, is trying to encourage Hoosiers to take a break from election anxiety with a film on their Facebook page, called “Indiana Slow Moments.” It will run on a loop starting at 6:00 Tuesday morning and continue through midnight. 

"You hear birds, you hear trees creaking, a little water trickling by, sighing breezes and it’s an opportunity to just have a moment and relax and connect with nature,” Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of the group.

Indiana Humanities also offers advice on how to talk about politics with someone who doesn’t share your views, called “Talking Across Divides.” 

"We’ve never done something like this, but there’s never been a time quite like 2020,” Amstutz said.

For Kheiri, it’s a teaching moment for her children, who are watching closely.

“Why do we love this country so much? It’s because we’ve been able to vote. We have a voice and this is our civic duty, regardless of which way or who wins,” she said.

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