As the United States election appears set to go down to the wire, two American women living in Australia can do nothing but watch from afar.
Kari Klein, 30, says a Joe Biden victory would mark a return to being a “civilised country” for the US, while a second Donald Trump term would represent nothing less than “chaos”.
“A Trump victory would feel like the end of American democracy,” Ms Klein told AAP on Wednesday.
“It’s really scary for me. At the risk of sounding melodramatic it would feel like doomsday if he wins again.”
“But if Biden wins I would feel there is good in the world; that people know right from wrong; that we’ve looked at fascism in the United States and we don’t want it.”
The Melbourne-based research co-ordinator voted in her home state of Florida via postal ballot at the first opportunity.
She places healthcare, education and gun control – all things that look drastically different in Australia compared to the US – as her top policy issues.
And while Ms Klein had planned to avoid constantly refreshing tabs on her computer to get the latest election updates, that ultimately proved impossible.
“Lots of Americans speak about moving abroad if Trump wins, but it doesn’t make all your problems go away,” she said.
“If anything you have a loss of identity and sense of home.”
Colleen Martin, 28, posted her vote in the state of Texas from Tuross Head on the NSW South Coast.
The IT worker has called Melbourne home for the last four years, but vividly recalls a 2016 election party in Austin turning from cheers to tears as Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes were dashed.
“I have a lot of skin in the game – I would say all of it is in the game,” Ms Martin told AAP.
“Even though I’m living in Australia, I’m still American and a lot of my family’s wellbeing is at stake.
“I feel very happy and lucky to be here – COVID has especially highlighted that. But it’s harder watching the election from afar as I feel more isolated.”