US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are battling for the presidency in a sharply divided United States.
Trump has been focusing on “law and order”; Biden has been trying to strike a conciliatory note. The Black Lives Matter movement – and whether Trump will release his taxes – are among the many issues Americans will consider when choosing their president.
As the hotly contested election approaches, Al Jazeera has been speaking to voters across the US, asking nine questions to understand who they are supporting and why.
Occupation: Retired teacher’s assistant
Residence: Shelbyville, Kentucky
Voted in 2016 for: Donald Trump
Will Vote in 2020 for: Donald Trump
Top Election Issue: Protecting free speech rights
Will you vote why/ why not?
“I always vote. I’m a poll worker. I’ve been a poll worker for probably 25 years, and I feel very strongly about voting and trying to get people to vote.”
What is your number one issue?
“Probably, my number one issue is, I feel like our freedom of speech is being eroded by Big Tech. How they’re censoring Facebook and Twitter. They censor anything that leans to the right, and I think that’s a dangerous, dangerous thing.
“I don’t trust the media anymore, and you really have to dig to get news.”
Who will you vote for?
Is there a main reason you chose your candidate?
“There are a lot of reasons. I think he’s the best option for our country. I think he will protect our right of freedom of speech, our religious rights, Second Amendment rights. He will keep our military strong. And I just think he’s the best, best option for the country going forward.
“There are a lot of other reasons too. I like the border security. I like his law-and-order message. I also like it that we’re energy independent, and we don’t have to depend on other countries for oil.
“I just think he is better for the country. I really have felt safer, I think our country is safer since he’s been president.”
Are you happy with the state of the country?
“I was before the coronavirus. I think that’s set everybody back, but I don’t get how these people can blame President Trump for the virus. He’s not God; he’s human.
“I think he’s done everything humanly possible to deal with it. I think it will eventually play itself out, and I think the economy will get back. I know it is a scary thing …”
What would you like to see change?
“I just would like for it to keep going forward. I think we were in a forward motion. Our economy was going gangbusters and the unemployment rate was low, and we were happy.
“Of course, I know there are different sections of people that probably were still struggling, but I also think they were doing better. The Black unemployment rate was lower than it had been. Hispanic, Asian, and even women. So, I think we were on the right path, and I just hate to see us stop that forward motion.”
Do you think the election will change anything?
“I think our country is so divided that no matter who wins, it’s going to be chaotic, especially if Trump wins because they’ve already promised that it will be. I don’t think Republicans are as apt to go out and burn and loot and do all that, but I think that some sections of the other party are already setting plans in motion to do that.
“My hope is that it’s a landslide one way or the other. I want it to be a clear decision, and I don’t want it to be marred in the courts and contested and go on for days … I just hope it’s a clear, clear solution and not something that’s just 20 votes one way or the other because I think that’ll be terrible.”
What’s your biggest concern for the US?
“That we will go back to higher taxes, energy independence, a weak military, that our rights will be eroded.”
Is there anything we haven’t asked about the election that you would like to say?
“I think I’ve pretty well covered it.”
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.