With the presidential election only 3 weeks away, we reached out to Millersville students to see how, and if, they intend to vote on November 3rd.
Of the 82 responses collected from a survey sent out to Millersville students, 97.6% of students said they are registered to vote in the 2020 election, only 25.6% of these students would be first-time voters. In Pennsylvania, the voter registration deadline is October 19th. The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot is October 27th.
Alexandra Neiderer is a writing studies major and junior at Millersville. She says “College students have probably some of the highest potentials when it comes to the shaping of our country. College students should be more involved with politics, as this world that we live in is shaped and influenced heavily by our choices.”
Tufts University released a report in 2018 which stated that they saw a 21-point increase in the percentage of college students who voted in the 2018 midterms as opposed to the 2014 midterm election. And according to a Pew Research study done in 2018, the Millennial generation has now made up the largest portion of the American electorate.
Daniela McCurdy, media arts production major and sophomore at Millersville says, “I do feel as though it is very important to be engaged with politics as a college student. Whether it’s smaller elections or the presidential election you should get to know who is in control of your next however many years they’re in office and how that will affect you.”
62.2% of students surveyed said they plan to vote in person at a physical polling location. The remaining 37.8% of students surveyed said they would be voting using the mail-in or absentee ballot options.
The mail-in ballot option being used during the upcoming presidential election due to the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns regarding election security. A report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center in May 2020 predicted that over 50% of votes cast would be in the form of mail-in ballots. This would be a 190% increase in mail-in ballots compared to the 2016 presidential election.
According to votespa.com, Pennsylvania’s official election information website, the Pennsylvania Department of State has “greatly intensified its election security efforts with increased monitoring, fortified voting system defenses, and added layers of protection to the commonwealth’s voter registration database.” For more information on election security, visit votespa.com.
At the time of the survey, 75.6% of Millersville students reported they would vote for Joe Biden. 13.4% said they would vote for Donald Trump. 4.9% said they would vote for Jo Jorgeson, the Libertarian candidate. 2.4% of students surveyed said they were conflicted between voting for Biden or casting a protest vote for Howie Hawkins, the Green party candidate. The results of the 2020 election can be found on votespa.com on November 3rd; however, it is unlikely we will have an accurate projection of the winner until weeks after election night.
The general election will take place on Tuesday, November 3rd. Polling places will open at 7 AM and close at 8 PM. All mail-in ballots must be postmarked or returned to the county board of elections office no later than 8 PM on November 3rd.