With the presidential election looming in America, and around the world, everyone is geared up and ready for any outcome. The news from all the polls seems to be repeating the same thing that has been known for months: this is still anyone’s race.

Carly Erickson, president of the Democrats Abroad at U of T, seems confident in John Kerry’s chances.

“We’re optimistic that the Democrats are going to pull through,” she said. “A lot of people have gone to swing states specifically to help people register [to vote]. They were saying good things.

“It is so back and forth, who’s going to win,” she said. “I have a feeling that if Kerry wins that he is gonna win by a solid majority.” She also expressed her doubts about the computerized voting systems that will be used in many regions across the country. “I don’t like it. I think that the whole process [should be] very personal. Machines don’t have a place in politics.”

One of the most common complaints coming from American voters is that the computers do not issue receipts. An American traveler on his way back home to vote on Tuesday said, “There’s no paper trail. How do I know that someone didn’t hack into the system and fuck with my choice?”

Erickson said that although many people are voting for Kerry simply because he is not George Bush, she feels that there are better reasons to vote for Kerry.

“President Bush made me get politically involved,” she said. “Kerry isn’t just better than nothing or [just] better than Bush: I think he is going to make a good president.

“It’s tense in the [US] and it’s been tense since 9/11,” she said. “Any [other] administration would do better at making people feel secure. I don’t think that the rest of the world is going to have the same attitude about America when John Kerry is president. The rest of the world’s attitude affects the States.”