By Skyler Crane, Meredith Enger, Calyn Hoerner, Ally Langston and Pierce Morrison
While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off in the presidential election, some college students did not lend their support to either candidate because they voted third-party, missed their chance to vote by absentee ballot, or didn’t vote at all because they did not feel their vote would matter.
In the second story of a post-election coverage series, we asked citizens if they voted in the elections and what issues brought them to or kept them away from the polls.
Ali McGee, 22, is a University of Mississippi senior exercise science major who plans to become a physical therapist. She voted, but said she does not pay attention to politics as much as she would like to.
“I voted for Gary Johnson,” she said. “I identify as a Democrat, but I didn’t want to give my support to either the Democratic or Republican Party.”
This shift from supporting the Democratic Party, yet refusing to support the Republican Party indicates how McGee viewed the candidates and policies. She said she believed both the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates’ policies were too extreme.
“I don’t like how they see things in black and white,” she said. “I think there’s more of a gray area.”
McGee said she felt Johnson’s policies more aligned with her beliefs, as they were more flexible than the two main parties. Despite leaning more towards moderation in this election, she said she does not have hard feelings about the results, though she is surprised.
Ann Weston Sistrunk is a UM sophomore public policy leadership major from Springfield, Missouri. Since Sistrunk does not live in Oxford, she wanted to vote by absentee ballot.
“I wanted to vote, but my absentee ballot was lost,” said Sistrunk, who was disappointed that she was not able to participate in the election.
Sarah Kate Caliguire, 20, is a UM broadcast journalism major who wants to work in the television industry as an entertainment news host. She said she is open to doing political coverage as well, but she feels she has little knowledge about the subject.
Caliguire wanted to vote by absentee ballot, but didn’t. She applied and received the ballot close to the election. Even though she sent the absentee ballot back, it did not make it to New Jersey, her hometown, in time to count as a vote.
Caliguire, a Republican, said she is surprised, yet overjoyed that Donald Trump is the 2016 president-elect.
“I wanted to vote because the election was revolutionary,” she said. “It was the first time I have seen two complete opposites run next to each other.”
DeAndre Kelly, 22, said he didn’t vote because, “My vote doesn’t change the vote from this state,” he said.
Kelly, a businesses and marketing major and Democrat, said he doesn’t feel his voice is important.
Megan Krynen, 19, is an international studies and public policy major at the University of Mississippi who said she voted in the election because of her love for those who have fought for our freedoms.
“Of course I voted, it’s our right to vote,” said Krynen, who is a Republican party member. “People are dying for our rights, and we need to honor that.”