KILLEEN, TX — It took a worldwide pandemic and cities to go up in flames after civil discord for 66-year-old Larry Latchie to vote for the very first time.
”I was never really impacted by it on a personal level,” Larry Latchie responded when asked why it took all these years for him to cast his vote in an election.
It’s for the same reasons, and more, why some voters are feeling anxious heading into Tuesday.
“I do believe that some people may be stressed because they don’t feel like there's a good candidate,” Arlena Burless said. “But that's just why they need to go vote!”
With a lot on the line, 70% of Americans say this election has been a significant source of stress, according to a survey done by the American Psychological Association.
“We’ve seen a level of rhetoric increase and the divide and kind of splitting of camps,” Dr. Sam Fiala, the Chair of Counseling and Psychology Department at Texas A&M Central Texas said. “The kind of tribalism, reaching heights that I haven't seen, at least in my memory, in elections.”
How can we take our minds off of that stress?
Here’s some options:
“If you can find someone to talk to not about the election, but about how you’re feeling about it,” Fiala said. “I think you’ll find that the people that you care about and the people who are about you in your life are receptive to hear about your feelings.”
“Take a deep breath, in and out,” Lina Spooner, a Killeen resident said. “Just remembering that this is gonna be what we're going to deal with over the next couple of years so making the right decision is important and still voting is important.”
It’s advice Latchie didn’t have to hear.
”I thought it was amazing,” Latchie said, smiling. “It was the greatest sensation I ever had in my whole life, to know that I was casting a vote.”