JACKSON, MISS– Election Day is here, and voters statewide are flocking to the polls.
The people are deciding.
And along with the “neither” vote is the number of people who claim “I can’t stand either candidate. I’m not voting at all.”
News Mississippi spoke with college students–and their political science professor–to find out how they feel about the election, if they’re participating, and what it could mean for this election if they didn’t vote at all.
“I don’t think you need to vote,” said a Millsaps business major. “I was considering not voting myself… I like Trump more than Clinton, but I don’t really like either candidate.”
He added that just marking something on the ballot could have more of an impact than one could think.
“Don’t vote if you’re not sure,” he said. “An unsure vote could really sway this country in the wrong direction. You have to be educated to find the one you want.”
Another student, a political science major, said that voting is very important to him.
“Even if you don’t like either of the major party candidates, you can find a candidate whose values line up with you,” he said. “Like a third party candidate, or writing in. A lot of people think you have to be loyal to your party… but if you don’t agree with the candidate..it’s just as bad to vote for them, in my opinion.”
Samesa Hoskin, junior political science major, completely disagreed with the idea of not voting at all.
“I’ve heard the saying, to remain silent is to enforce the oppressor,” said Hoskin. “You absolutely cannot ignore this election, you have to get out and vote, even if it is a ‘lesser of the two (evils)’ situation.”
Hoskin said the scandals of elections cannot deter the young voters casting their ballot, even if they learn they cannot no longer support their own party.
“Don’t just step out just because,” said Hoskin. “You’re seeing a lot of support leave Trump for the third party. If you need to vote for a third party to get your voice out, do it, but don’t not vote.”
Dr. Nathan Shrader, political science professor at Millsaps, said that the growing number of millennials opting out of voting is actually counterintuitive to one main characteristic of those in the 18-34 age range.
“They like to have control over their own lives,” said Dr. Shrader. “So for them to stay home is to say they’re okay with someone else speaking for them…. it’s essentially voting for the candidate you like the least.”
Dr. Shrader said he urges students to vote, even if they express that they will not participate in the election because of the two main candidates.
“I’m one of those that believes in the third party vote,” said Dr. Shrader. “The third party candidate over time has served as a vehicle to bring to light issues that may not have been discussed without them.”
The third party support has grown in this election cycle, according to Dr. Shrader.
“Gary Johnson was polling eight or nine percent,” said Dr. Shrader. “That’s actually more than the amount of people who claim to be libertarian.”
Dr. Shrader said everyone should read up on the candidates and watch the debates to determine the better fit for their views.
News Mississippi will be providing election results online newsms.fm, or follow along on Twitter @News_MS.
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