First-time voters speak out about Tuesday’s election

Published 11:05 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

People flocked to the polls Tuesday to let their voice be heard on who they wanted to be president of the United States, and some of those people were casting their first ever vote for the leader of the free world.

Hinds Community College welding student Alejandro Davis, 18, voted for the first time in his life Tuesday. He said he enjoyed his experience at the polls.

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“Walking into it I was kind of nervous,” Davis said. “It was cool. I thought it was going to be a long line, but I just went in there, went to the desk gave my ID and cast my ballot. That was it. I thought it was going to be longer than that.”

He said voting is important for our country and he thinks everyone who can exercise his or her right to vote should participate in the democratic process.

“I encourage everybody that’s over 18 to go out there and vote because you pick who you want to be in office. Everybody’s vote counts,” he said.

Davis said it was important for him to vote in his first eligible election regardless of the candidates because he sees it as a privilege.

“Ever since I was 16 I’ve been wanting to vote for who I wanted to be in office and now I’ve gotten the chance to do it. So it’s a good feeling,” he said.

He voted for Hilary Clinton because he felt her policies were similar to President Barak Obama’s policies, which he supports. He also noted the historical importance of voting for the first woman president.

In addition to college students getting their first chance to exercise the right to vote, many local high school students were able to get in on the election as well. Three St. Aloysius High School students were waiting until they left school Tuesday to cast their vote for the next president.

Channing Curtis said voting is important and a civic duty for citizens.

“I’m excited to take part in that for the first time,” he said.

When picking a candidate to vote for, he said he has chosen the one that aligns with his views the most, but he isn’t necessarily supportive of either candidate saying he was picking, “the lesser of the two evils.” Curtis feels anyone who doesn’t vote doesn’t have a right to complain over the next four years.

He has viewed this election season as crazy and childish, and he doesn’t like how the candidates, media and political parties have handled the election.

“Nobody is really worried about what is best for our country. They’re more worried about slamming each other,” he said. “Especially the media. The media is just worried about negative aspects in their social life instead of their political views.”

Jackson Oaks is concerned about how this election has really focused on the differences between the two candidates and the two political parties instead of bringing the country together as a whole.

“That has been the problem the past four years because we’ve had two parties separated between two different branches and nothing really gets done,” he said.

Oaks feels his generation is the first one that has a negative outlook of the future of America with his peers always thinking it will only get worse each year.

“I can’t think of anybody who has every grown up thinking America is going downhill,” he said. “I think we need to vote for somebody who wants to bring American spirit up.”

Oaks had not made his final decision Monday morning on who he would cast his ballot for and said he was even considering third party candidates.

“It’s been a hard decision to make because both of the main candidates are really hard to agree with in certain aspects,” Oaks said. “It’s hard to decide what policies the candidate has is better for the country.”

He hopes people educate themselves on the candidates, not only for president but for other elected positions as well, before they take part in casting their ballot.

“I think that its important people know about who they are voting for not just in the president election, but also our executive branch our senators, our representatives and see which one is going to make a change for Mississippi,” he said.

Brooklyn Breithaupt said social media and the things she reads and hears in the news have had a large impact on the way she views the candidates. For her the whole election has been hectic and chaotic with the things the candidates have said about each other.

Based on what Breithaupt witnessed during the debates, she said she would be voting for Donald Trump because her beliefs line up more with his even though she does agree with the Democratic Party in some areas.

“It’s been a tough decision,” Breithaupt said.

Even though it’s tough, she said it is important to vote because it matters for the future of the country.

“If we all had the mindset ‘my vote isn’t going to count’ then no one’s going to vote,” she said.