First-Time Non-Voters


BY BRIELLE HARDY


Quick to take on the label of non-voters, many undergraduate students at the University of Maine opted out of being part of this presidential election. Given the amount of social media coverage that the candidates have received over the past 16 months, one would think that the demographic that uses social media the most, young adults, would have formed strong opinions by now.

Brooke Lever, a first year nursing student was turned off to politics due to the amount activity surrounding it online.

“I feel like the media has been so full of bias, it’s hard to develop my own opinion,” said Lever.

Social media seemed to have the opposite affect on many of the undergraduate students at the University of Maine.The idea of being unable to rely on ideas and opinions put forth on social media was almost universal among non-voters.

A few, like Olivia Lappin, a second year wildlife ecology major, also felt that they didn’t take the time to learn about each candidate.

“I guess my reason for not voting, specifically for this election, is that I totally did not educate myself on anything, so I didn’t care. I feel like at this point everything I would find online is all bullshit,  I wouldn’t be able to find anything meaningful. Not that I’ve looked into it that much, so it’s my fault for not educating myself,” said Lappin.

The University of Maine’s campus was bustling on Election Day, with people everywhere encouraging others to vote. Many of the campaign slogans have to do with stopping the opposing candidate, encouraging defensive votes to be cast. So why did so many students feel so indifferent?

Rachel Boissonneault, a first year foundations student, gave her reasoning. “I’m not a big fan of either candidate. To me it’s choosing the lesser of two evils and I would rather save my first time voting for candidates who are actually worth it,” said Boissonneault.

Boissonneault confirmed that if she were forced to vote, she would vote for

Clinton.

Even with a bit of a preference of one candidate over the other, students did not feel the need to vote.

Lappin felt that the outcome of a presidential election has never affected her life in any significant way.  “I just have so many other priorities, which is so weird that voting wouldn’t be a priority of mine, but because it hasn’t affected me yet it doesn’t seem like it should be,” said Lappin.

If the results of tonight’s election have an affect on the lives of non-voting students, perhaps they’ll change their minds about voting in elections to come.