Midterm Elections 2018, HUB-Robeson Center

Students ask questions about voting or pick up free food after voting outside of the HUB-Robeson Center on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Elections bring about a variety of questions amongst the general population, typically in regard to the candidates in the running and their plans for their prospective term in office.

Perhaps more pressing than the discussions of policy, however, is the consideration of whether or not one will pursue their right to vote on Election Day.

Penn State students answered the question on whether they plan on voting with a myriad of responses, each with their own reasoning as to why.

Some students said voting is of high importance to them and that they did not want to miss the opportunity to do so.

Sophie Brown — a student who typically votes Democrat — said that although she is from Boston, she is registered to vote in State College because Pennsylvania is a swing state, whereas Boston generally votes Democrat.

Brown (senior-acting) added that she feels obligated to vote in order to make her voice heard in government issues.

“I think that I would feel guilty if I didn’t vote, because then I wouldn’t be able to ever say anything about politics if I wasn’t participating,” Brown said. “I do like to take part in the conversation and feel like I contributed in a way.”

Sarah Glancey — who said she hoped to vote in the general election, assuming her registration was in order — agreed that having one’s voice and political opinions heard is valuable.

“I think it’s important just to get your own views out,” Glancey (sophomore-biobehavioral health) said. “Obviously, you want to have a voice, and I really do feel like every vote actually does matter. It’s going to help no matter what, and it makes you feel like you actually did something.”

Jeffrey Lunger said he sent in an absentee ballot to vote in the Pennsylvania general election and felt that it was his responsibility to contribute his opinion.

“Given that it’s my civic right to vote and that a lot of people have given up a lot and sacrificed a lot for my opportunity to vote, I felt it was necessary that my voice be heard and to kind of honor that freedom that I have that other people may not,” Lunger (freshman-economics) said. “And also I want my opinion to have weight in government in general.”

Samantha DiPasquale said she is registered to vote at her hometown in Pennsylvania but could not figure out how to fill out the absentee ballot properly.


Nonetheless, she agreed with Lunger that voting is a way to make full use of this right that people did not always have.

“Just the fact that we are able to [vote] is kind of important. I don’t want to not take advantage of a right that I have that not everyone in other places have,” DiPasquale (sophomore-criminology) said. “As women especially, we got that right later on than most people. I feel like if I don’t vote and then someone I don’t like gets elected, I can’t really say anything because I didn’t do anything to make that change.”

Although she was unable to send in an absentee ballot for New Jersey’s general election in time, Shannon Smith expressed that everyone’s input has an impact.

“Everyone should vote, because if everyone thinks that their vote doesn’t matter, that’s hundreds of thousands of people not voting,” Smith (sophomore-psychology and health policy administration) said.

She continued to explain that even if one does not like the candidates in the running, they should still vote seeing as one of them is going to win anyways.

On the other hand, some students — although they feel that voting is something people should do — are not heavily involved in politics in general.

Alex Ellis said he sent in an absentee ballot to vote in the Pennsylvania general election, but that he did not request it early enough for it to be returned on time. He added that he votes mainly because he feels like he should.

“My mom reminded me that I should vote. I’m not sure I really have a reason. I just feel like I should vote,” Ellis (senior-math and economics) said. “I know it doesn’t make much of an impact, but I think it’s a good thing to do.”

Others expressed that they want to keep a closer watch on political happenings since they feel they have not yet done so.

Taylor D’Urso said she forgot to send in her absentee ballot this year and that she hopes to one day pay more attention to elections and politics as a whole.

“It’s important. I should really be paying more attention to politics and the different policies,” D’Urso (sophomore-division of undergraduate studies) said.” I probably will eventually, like my parents do.”

Lauren Delie — who is registered to vote in Pittsburgh — said she did not send in an absentee ballot, adding that she did not plan on voting in this election due to a lack of awareness of the candidates and their views.

“I just don’t know anything about that stuff. I don’t take the time to look into it, which is not good,” Delie (sophomore-business) said. “That’s pretty much the reason. If I knew more about the impact they have and how it would affect us, then I would actually try to figure out a way to do it.”

Eric Jaworski agreed with this lack of interest in politics. He said he does not like keeping up with this aspect of the news, and added he was not aware of when the general election was happening.

“[Politics] doesn’t really interest me much, and I feel like you don’t make friends talking about it. I just avoid it,” Jaworski (sophomore-mechanical engineering) said. “I feel like it is important. I’m just not good at keeping up with politics and everything.”

Jaworski also explained, however, that he is registered to vote in State College and planned to vote once he learned when the election was taking place.



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