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Election night ended two days ago but the presidential race is still dragging on, and some Austinites are starting to get antsy.
With hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted in five key battleground states—Alaska, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania—this election is a nail-biter.
Nervous feelings are being shared among many on social media; the waiting game is testing people's patience.
logging in from beneath my blanket fort to check the election results https://t.co/ZyOJI8cBB6— the sleepytime owl 😴🧙♀️ (@the sleepytime owl 😴🧙♀️)1604458197.0
Watching this election is like swimming a no breath 400 IM with jeans on in the Atlantic Ocean.— Kyle Sockwell (@Kyle Sockwell)1604450937.0
Andrei Matei, who has been living in Austin for more than 20 years now, said he is shocked by the closeness of the presidential race.
"I'm very surprised that the race is as tight as it is at the national level right now," Matei said. "I've never seen our country more divided than it is now."
Austinites are reminding each other to remain calm, knowing the results would not be in anytime soon.
A reminder to all, we will not know who won the election tonight. Likely not for several days or more. Don't stay u… https://t.co/I151d7nCeV— Jeremy Dooley (@Jeremy Dooley)1604466306.0
Others, like Austinite Rachel Wilson, are awaiting results calmly, with the attitude that whatever happens, happens.
"The presidential election is close as expected," Wilson said. "Regardless of the outcome we will all be OK. In life, and in politics, no defeat or victory is permanent."
Some locals are choosing to laugh the election nerves away, poking fun at the states the country is waiting on.
In this election Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin showed up like https://t.co/lu6qY5Psd5— Joe Vargas (@Joe Vargas)1604537974.0
Above all else, distraction via hanging with your pup, getting outside or grabbing a bite are popular choices for this election.
Texas has already had a tense election cycle. In the midst of COVID-19, this election was destined to be different than years prior. With six extra days of early voting in Texas, residents did their part by casting their vote.
In the months leading up to the election, Texas appeared to be a swing state with Republicans and Democrats neck and neck, keeping residents on the edge of their seats into election night.
Though Texas' 38 Electoral College votes will go to President Donald Trump, the election is still undecided. According to the Associated Press, Biden currently has 264 electoral votes and Trump at 214 electoral votes of the 270 needed to win office. With at least five states yet to confirm a lead, the race is still not over.
More on waiting:
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
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Is it just us, or is the current Austin mask situation confusing? Are we supposed to wear a mask or not, and where? And should we wear one anyway, even if not requested or required?
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