By Mariah Allison, Leah Wilkinson, Dalila Bevab and Layla Colakovic
With Election Day just a few days behind us, many are still thinking and talking about the results of the presidential race.
Knights Media spoke to several Bellarmine students about their views and plans this past Election Day.
Senior nursing major Sarah Garcia, freshman business administration Katherine Barr and sophomore accounting major Rees Jobe said they all voted via mail-in ballots.
“I sent in my ballot at the end of October,” Barr said. “I was very excited to be voting for the first time.”
Garcia said the voting process was fairly simple for her.
“It was easy for me to vote,” Garcia said. “I had the privilege of sending in an absentee ballot because I’m away for school.”
Barr said she also felt the process was user-friendly.
“They give clear instructions on how to do it, so the process was very easy,” Barr said.
Garcia said that although the voting process was easy for her, she knows there are others who had a harder time participating in the election.
“All I had to do was put it in a Dropbox,” Garcia said. “At the same time, there is a lot of voter suppression and the mail in ballots can be misconstrued.”
Garcia said she voted for Joe Biden as the next president.
“I voted for Joe Biden because I think we need to get Donald Trump out of office,” Garcia said. “Though Biden doesn’t align with all my beliefs and values, I think he is the lesser of two evils and that he’ll get us back on track.”
Jobe said he felt mail-in voting was the safe option this year.
“I definitely think absentee was the best way to go and drop off because the amount of people voting in person is insane,” Jobe said. “People from all over the woodwork are coming out to vote which leads to hour long waits not only in line but also in traffic.”
Jobe also said this was his first time voting and that he learned more from the experience than he previously knew about voting in an election.
“Yeah, I just turned 18,” Jobe said. “After COVID, though, I’m more aware of the importance of voting for your state governors, too, so I think I’ll always vote.”
Junior Jaylon Kiper and sophomore Megan Burger voted in October.
Kiper, a computer science major, said he voted early in the morning at Freedom Hall. He said it was an organized set up that set people 6 feet apart from each other.
“Besides the issues due to COVID-19, it felt like a regular voting process,” said Kiper. “It was fast, efficient and everyone got their turn.”
Burger, a political science major, said she voted early in her hometown of Jasper, Indiana. She said she noticed the polls were busier than in previous elections.
“I’ve done early voting in previous elections and this was definitely the busiest I’ve ever seen early voting,” Burger said. “Usually I can go in and vote within five minutes, but this time I waited about 20 minutes.”
Burger said she was not only focused on voting for president, but also for candidates in other races.
“The main candidates to vote for on my ballot this election was the president, of course, but I also was able to vote for the Indiana governor, local city council members, and whether or not I wanted to retain Indiana Supreme Court justices,” Burger said. “My county is pretty good at making sure voting is efficient and that we understand how to vote on the ballot since it is an electronic ballot.”
Although Burger said this was her first time voting in a presidential election, she emphasized the importance of voting in non-presidential years, too.
“If you’re iffy about voting, still vote,” Burger said. “So many people in this nation have their right to vote taken away, so we shouldn’t take this right for granted.”
Burger said she encourages people to seek out resources if they’re feeling stuck in the voting process.
“There are so many resources to help voters find out what will be on their ballot so if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, a Google search can help explain your options,” Burger said.
Kiper said he was passionate about voting this year, and encouraged others to do the same.
“I know that it’s been a rough four years with the current president in office, but we have the power to change that with just a simple ballot and a pen,” Kiper said. “They say ‘the pen is mightier than the sword,’ and it couldn’t be any more true with what’s at at stake today.”
Barr said her votes were based on three topics of today.
“When voting, I mainly focused on each candidate’s plans for COVID response, environmental plans, and how they will go about dealing with the racial injustices we are seeing in our country today,” Barr said.
Jobe said he believes it’s important for people to vote, but that it’s also important not to judge those who don’t vote.
“Obviously, encourage them (to vote) but don’t be judgmental,” said Jobe.
Anna Thomas is a junior clinical psychology major. She said she chose not to vote in this past election.
Thomas said her family never talked about voting when she was growing up.
“It wasn’t until I got to Bellarmine that my mind was like, ‘You know, I should probably look into that,’ and it kind of just snuck up behind me,” Thomas said. “I personally don’t want to vote when I know little to nothing about politics at the moment, because if I wanna make a change, I wanna make the correct change.”
Thomas said she wants to make sure her vote is educated.
“I don’t wanna vote and my vote count against someone else’s or I vote for something and then later on, I come to regret that decision, so I like to be a little bit more educated before I make a decision,” Thomas said.
Maaja Vega is a senior exercise science major and said she did not vote in this year’s election.
“I do not have a choice, but if I had to choose, I would choose Joe Biden because he is not racist,” Vega said. “But my dad has opened my eyes to the economical benefits Trump has provided to the country.”
Vega said she didn’t vote because she felt voting was more difficult in the midst of COVID-19.
“I was really busy and kept missing deadlines for mail in voting,” Vega said. “I also didn’t want to contribute to endorse either candidate because I do not agree with either of them.”
Jobe said he believes it’s important for people to vote if there are topics in which they are passionately represented on the ballot.
“If there is something they are passionate about on the line, they should do their research and vote based on that,” Jobe said.
Barr said it was vital for people to vote this year.
“Go out and vote. It is now more important than ever to make your voice heard,” Barr said. “Your country depends on it. Make your vote count.”