Students and residents of Elon who didn’t vote in the 2008 Presidential Election talk about their decision

By Daniel Temple

Nov. 4, 2008- In this 2008 election, voters have turned out in record numbers. Major news organizations such as CNN and are reporting that voters are turning out in numbers unprecedented since women were given the right to vote in 1920.

At Elon, measures were taken to ensure that as many students possible voted. For weeks, flyers and signs were made visible to encourage students to get out and vote. On Election Day, free shuttles were provided to take students to and from the polls.

However there are still some who opted not to vote in this election, citing a number of reasons, ranging from lack of interest, to the inclement weather.

“I’m registered in Massachusetts which is predominantly pro-Obama,” said Sarah Tucker, a sophomore at Elon. “They’re more than likely going to vote for him so what does it matter if I send in my absentee ballot?”

Knowledge of Candidates

Unfortunately, another reason why many students at Elon kept themselves from voting was that they felt they didn’t know enough about the candidates to make a decision. Although they weren’t opposed to voting in general, it felt wrong in a sense to cast a ballot on people and issues they really knew very little about.

“My main reason for not voting was that I knew nothing about where each candidate stood on certain issues,” said Mark Taylor, a freshman at Elon. “I know it’s my fault for not doing any research but I just don’t want to vote for the sake of voting.”

However for others, it was after they looked into each candidate that they decided not to vote. After reviewing each candidates plans and listening to what each person wanted to accomplish, some students felt it was better to keep their vote to themselves, rather than pick a candidate they didn’t even want.

“To be honest I just was not that enthusiastic about John McCain,” said Currie Bell, a junior at Elon. “On the other hand I really detest Barack Obama and so I wasn’t about to vote for him either.”

The Voting Process- Confusion and Time Consuming

For some, it wasn’t the candidates or the election, but the voting process that kept them participating. Some students said they were confused at how to approach the process of registration and submitting absentee ballots.

“The reason I didn’t vote was I because I was unfamiliar with the process of absentee ballots,” said Thomas Daddio, a junior at Elon. “By the time I became aware of the situation and the steps I needed to take, it was too late.”

Due to the record number of voter turn outs, unusually long lines formed outside polling stations across the United States. News of these lines and delays certainly played a part in keeping people from voting.

“I understand how important it is to vote, I really do,” said Kathy Duvall, a local Elon resident. “But I also know I’m going to have to stand in line for at least half an hour, and between my kids and errands, there just isn’t enough time.”

In the Future…

Many however, feel that even though they didn’t participate in this election, it doesn’t mean they won’t vote in future elections. In fact many students, after seeing how the election process is such a major event, are excited about getting the chance to vote in future elections.

“I mean with the rain and the amount of work I have today, it just feels like too much to go down and cast a single vote,” said Taylor. “But after seeing how important it is to so many people, I will definitely make more of an effort and certainly be a part of the 2012 election.”

“Being new to voting, I really thought that the process was confusing,” said Daddio. “Voting is important though and I’m disappointed I didn’t take part in this historical event.”



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One Comment on “Students and residents of Elon who didn’t vote in the 2008 Presidential Election talk about their decision”

  1. Janna Says:

    You have some good content here. It’s good to get the person-on-the-street viewpoint. It would have been even better if you had gotten at least one “expert” interview with a political science professor about the topic.

    Decide if you are going all-caps or lower-case on your headline style – you have a mix.

    This would have benefited from the use of photos or video. Remember that even though I’m asking you to work more on depth of writing that you are supposed to be capturing images at the same time.

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