Students have reasons for ‘first vote’

Voters waited in line to cast their ballots outside the St Augustine Church in Coral Gables.Photos by Dana Tepper

Parents, their future, social stance are key

Saint Augustine Church couldn’t contain the line of voters, so it extended outside the church into the court yard. Many were students from the University of Miami voting in their first election, determined to cast their ballots before running off to class.

Some students felt strongly toward one candidate or the other, and others came out of moral obligation. And whether their voting influence was from their parents, concern for the future, or their stance on social issues, each student had a reason for being in line.

Three students, Brittney Ginsburg, Daren Delsignore, and Max Pomerantz, waited in line together but differed on their choice in candidate.

“I’m voting for [Mitt] Romney in support of my future career,” Delsignore, a 20-year-old finance major at the University of Miami, said. “I think a lot of students are voting because of social issues but I’m voting because of fiscal matters. There is definitely a divide between students that believe one way or the other.”

Ginsburg, however, said she is voting for [President] Obama because, even though she has been following the campaigns and debates “somewhat,” she is mainly influenced by her parents and her party affiliation.

Pomerantz, 21, who is originally from New York, decided to vote in Florida because he feels his vote actually matters here.

“I’m voting for Romney because of the state of the economy and the slow recovery this country has had, although I disagree with him socially,” Pomerantz said. “Luckily, I have a job offer after graduation, but I know a lot of students that don’t and I think it’s especially important for them to vote.”

Further down the line, two students were chatting and joking to pass the time. Neal Carson, 20, said he decided to vote out of a growing sense of obligation.

“No, that’s my joke answer,” he laughs. “I’m voting for Obama but I wanted to vote for Jill Stein. I agree with her policies much more but I’ve been told it’s simply unrealistic to do that. I guess a good way to say it is that I care more that Romney doesn’t win than that Jill Stein does.”

The college student population seemed concerned with their future and interested in making their vote count.

“I started to understand that [the] presidency is going to affect the life that I have for the next four years more drastically than it has in the past four years,” Carson said.” And for that reason I think it’s important to vote.”

More like this: Coral Gables | Election - Miami

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2 responses to “Students have reasons for ‘first vote’”

  1. Nsd1993 says:

    I love the diversity of the students you selected as far as who they’re voting for and why.

  2. Skylar F. says:

    I think it is really interesting how you focused on the college population. From my experience doing interviews today, a lot of students emphasized how it was their first time being able to vote in a presidential election. It seems to me that many college-aged students are voting because they know that the specific policies of each candidate will have significant effects on their adult lives, regardless of who is elected.