• By Tyler Connolly

With election day approaching, students are heading to the polls

Election day is approaching, and voters are making their final decision as to whom they’ll cast a ballot for on Nov. 3. 

Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, face off against Republican nominee and current President Donald Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence. Some have called this the “most important election” in recent history, since America is more politically divided now than ever. Throughout the year we have seen an increase in media campaign encouraging people to register to vote and participate on election day.

There is an increased number of first-time voters in this election, especially young people, and each candidate seems to be able to appeal to this group of voters in some way. One question remains though, how many of these young voters will participate on election day? 

Around Coastal’s campus, there have been signs, and some tabling events, set up with information on not only how to register to vote, but how to participate and make your vote count. Most CCU students are not from South Carolina, so they have to mail in their ballots, or return home to cast their votes if they’re already registered in their home state. 

CCU sophomore Jared Gott is a registered voter in Maryland, and said that he plans to mail in his ballot this year to make his vote count.

Gott said that he believes a reason people tend not to vote is because they think “it doesn’t make a difference if one person does or not.”

Another registered voter at CCU, freshman Isaia Mathis said, “People don’t vote because, at least in my case, they don’t find either candidate appealing.”

Since the president is not elected by popular vote, it’s easy to see why voters would think their votes don’t matter, but research shows that policy makers are more responsive to the districts (in the case of a presidential election, we would look at states, but also counties within states) with higher voter turnouts. Another reason each vote is important, is because a candidate receiving all a state's electoral votes can come down to just a few individual ballots. Take for example the 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore. Bush won all of Florida’s electoral votes by 571 individual votes. This ultimately is what helped him to win the presidency. 

One common reason eligible voters will not participate in this year’s election is because they don’t like either candidate. 

“Voters should do research and vote for a candidate that has at least some qualities they like,” said Gott.

This research should include watching the recorded debates, reading over each one's political accomplishments, or just watching the news. Doing research is an easy way to inform oneself of each candidate's stance on certain issues. 

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