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College students unsure their vote will matter in presidential election

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Caroline Meehan will not vote in the 2016 election. Photo by Calyn Hoerner

redteamlogoBy Skyler Crane, Meredith Enger, Calyn Hoerner, Ally Langston and Pierce Morrison

With the 2016 presidential election less than three weeks away, University of Mississippi students have only a few days left to decide who they will vote for.

In the second story of an election story series, we randomly interviewed students on campus this week to ask who they plan to vote for and why. We also asked if they believe their vote will make a difference in this election.

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Colin Borgan

Freshman computer science major Colin Borgan, 18, said he isn’t sure his vote means much in this election. “I’m voting for Trump,” he said. “I don’t like everything Hilary Clinton says.”

Borgan said he doesn’t “believe my vote counts for much, to be honest,” but he will vote in the election.

UM student Kiara Manning said she’ll vote because she believes voting has the power to implement change. “I plan on voting for Hillary Clinton,” Manning said.

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Caroline Meehan said she won’t vote for either candidate this election year. “I feel like, either way, it won’t end well,” said Meehan. “If we elect Trump, we will just fight amongst ourselves and against others. If we vote for Hillary, we will end up even deeper in debt.”

This thought has made Meehan apathetic about voting. “I do not want either one to be president, so why would I vote?” she said. “My vote wouldn’t make a difference anyway.”

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Tessa Wilson

Tessa Wilson, a UM art student, has decided to vote for Donald Trump. Wilson said she is conservative and believes Trump shares the same values. However, she also believes her vote won’t matter.

“There is no say in my vote,” she said. “The government is power hungry and keeping society down, because, in the end, they want and have the most control.”

Wilson said she believes the government will “rig” the election to make Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will. “Clinton will win because there’s more uneducated people than educated in the United States,” said Wilson, who said she believes people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds will vote for Hilary because she “gives them power.”

UM student Jack Sullivan isn’t happy with either choice. “There is not one person to vote for,” he said. “One is corrupt, and one is juvenile.”

Sullivan said neither candidate is a suitable United States representative. “I don’t want either of them to be my president,” he said.

However, Sullivan does believe that voting is important. “My vote does matter,” he said. “Not many young people vote in elections. My age demographic matters when I vote.”

According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that youth voter turnout rates declined from 2008 to 2012, “contrary to initial reports based on the national Election Day exit polls, which had shown the youth voter turnout rate holding steady.”

According to the Census Bureau report, the turnout rate among 18-to 24-year olds fell – to 41.2 percent in 2012 from 48.5 percent in 2008. However, the turnout rates of adults ages 65 and older rose – to 71.9 percent in 2012 from 70.3 percent in 2008.

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

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