The presidential election of 2016 has many LSU students contemplating their role in the voting process and whether they make a difference.
Fifth year senior Katie Armshaw states, “I voted in the 2012 election and am voting in the 2016 election. If everyone thought voting didn’t matter, then who would be there to vote?”
Unlike Armshaw, many LSU students feel that their vote will not make a difference in the election. After speaking with sophomore Madeline Freret, a student from Destin, Florida, she feels there is no point to send an early ballot back home. She claims that her one vote will not change the position of the state of Florida whether she wants it to or not.
Eight out of ten democratic students interviewed say they are less likely to vote because Louisiana is a primarily republican state. These students went on to say no matter how many of them vote they can never out number the ‘white southerners’ that control the state.
Armshaw commented on these statements by saying, “These students need to realize that together they have a voice. The cool thing about America is that each and every one of us has a voice if and when we are willing to use it.”
Seven out of ten republican students say they are going to vote in the election. Senior Macalah Mefford plans on missing all her classes Tuesday to drive home and vote in the presidential election.
Although Louisiana is a primarily republican state, the two democratic students voting feel their vote can make a difference. Sophomore Liam Norton says he will be furious with himself for not voting if the president he wants does not win. To avoid this, Norton sent in an early ballot to his hometown Ruston, Louisiana, to make sure his vote was accounted for.
Many students struggle with living in a different state than they are registered to vote. Three students say that this makes them less likely to vote because the hassle is ‘not worth it.’ Ava Carroll, from Peachtree City, Georgia, says that her state usually votes for her political party. Because she has had so much schoolwork during the election period, she never sent in her early ballot. Carroll has hopes that her state will vote as they have in past elections.
Mefford feels that all students, no matter where they are from or what party they belong to should cast their vote to have a ‘proper election.’ Mefford states, “Democracies work because people have a part in their government. It is up to us to take our part and make a difference.”
Even though all LSU students do not plan to take part in the election, their voice is still being heard. According to Norton, “By not voting, students are still voting. They are voting for the party that wins because they failed to help the opposing party.” Norton hopes to see more LSU students participate in this election so they can make a difference as the future voters in the United States of America.