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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

First-time voters choose president from group of unpopular candidates

Many UW-Madison undergraduate students voted in a presidential election for the first time during this election cycle. The majority of people interviewed agreed that this was an interesting election to cast their first ballots in.

Some students said they did not prefer either of the two major party candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. UW-Madison junior Tommy Chitwood is voting for Trump solely because he represents the Republican party, which Chitwood affiliates himself with.

“I'm not very excited because this is not really a very good election. It really demonstrates how polarized this nation is right now,” Chitwood said. “I think it’s sad … a motivation for a lot of people for their voting is because their person is not the other candidate.”

UW-Madison sophomore Eliana Locke is the opposite of Chitwood?she voted for Clinton and was enthusiastic about participating in the election.

“I feel really good about being a first-time voter,” Locke said. “I feel like [she is] the first [candidate for] president that I feel is fighting for every single issue that I care about … I am so excited to have my vote counted for her.”

Some first-time voters took the less popular route and voted for third-party candidates. Chris Rupel, a UW-Madison sophomore, made the decision to support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson because he felt it was his only option.

“There's just not a good candidate I can be like 'Yes, I stand by that person,’” Rupel said. “I feel like [Clinton and Trump] exemplify bad values and I don't feel comfortable voting for them.”

Zawadi Carroll, also a UW-Madison sophomore, agreed this election is stressful for first-time voters. She chose not to vote for either of the two major party candidates as well.

“I never grew up in a household that was overwhelming towards one party, so when it was time for me to choose a party I chose one that seemed to align with my beliefs and what I thought was best for the country,” Carroll said.

Carroll and Chitwood said they hope for positive change to come out of this election no matter which candidate wins. Both want the election to lessen the separation of parties that the U.S. is experiencing.

“It's a really dangerous thing … how it's difficult for people with opposing ideas to sit at a table and talk about it,” Chitwood said. “I hope that [whoever wins is] able to establish that we are not divided in two, rather, we are one.”

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