The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Computer malfunctions, absentee ballots: How NKU students voted

November 3, 2020


Sam Rosenstiel

The 2020 General Election is Nov. 3

Sydney Kramm

Sydney Kramm, freshman Visual Communications Design major, voted by mail in her first election. 

Kramm said she voted by mail because she feels it’s the safest option for her.

“I felt a little more safer, in a weird way, and I feel like it was the best option for me because of how busy my life is right now, due to my work and having school, and also the current state of the world right now,” Kramm said.

She also said she heard people she talked to felt voting by mail made them feel less intimidated to vote. Kramm said where she’s from in Ohio is “very pro-Trump” while she and her friends are more liberal-minded.

“I feel like my voice officially now counts,” Kramm said about the experience. 

Kramm said she searched on Google and tried to learn about the platforms that align with her but it was a lot of information to sort through. Nonetheless, she said it’s important for her to vote because she feels snuffed out by the current government.

“I am a bisexual woman, and I sometimes feel like I’m being snuffed out by our current state of our government. I think having the ability to vote can help get my voice across there and also try and get the people out that are in power that are hurting us,” Kramm said. “And not only just the LGBTQ community but other minorities.”

While she’s at work today, Kramm said she will try to keep up with the news and pay attention to how the results play out.

Madison Beichler

Madison Beichler, sophomore electronic media & broadcasting major, voted in Kentucky by absentee for both the primary elections and on Election Day.

She said her process was fairly easy. This was the first election she voted in and she believes that voting in the election is important because that’s “the whole idea of democracy.”

“We’re supposed to be a country for the people and the people should have the biggest voice,” Beichler said.

She said she doesn’t want to see people lose rights following the election results.

“I don’t want to see anybody get mistreated and I don’t want to see anybody lose rights. I want to see everybody gain it and become equal.” Beichler said. “I’m a woman and I want to see women’s rights, but more importantly I just want to see everybody have the same rights.”

While she wants to be keeping up to date with the results tonight, her work schedule might not allow her to see it live.

Braden White

Braden White’s first time voting the morning of Nov. 3 was a little disastrous, according to the freshman public relations major.

“It was actually kind of terrible,” White said.

White got up very early to get to his polling station in Clermont County, Ohio, so temperatures were freezing. 

The computers used to register voters also malfunctioned, and White said it took him a little over two hours to vote.  

Despite these difficulties, White still believes that voting is one of the most important things citizens can do. 

“I feel like voting is like the most important thing for me to do. I mean, for any American, but I feel like for me specifically, I feel like everyone’s rights are on the line,” White said. “For me to jeopardize other people, other minority groups, I think that’s just selfish.” 

When researching candidates White said he looked for candidates that “would not just benefit white, straight people.” White said he ruled out President Donald Trump early on and has been keeping up with the election since the Democratic National Debates in 2019. 

White said he has also looked at multiple news outlets, specifically the New York Times. 

White said he has been worried the past few months, citing the racial injustice over the summer and the swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, but said the whirlwind that is the year 2020 helped prepare him for whatever comes next. 

“It’s nothing new to me now because what we’ve been through this year is like the same as how bad the election is,” White said.

White reiterated the importance of voting for a candidate he felt would benefit all identities, something he feels Trump’s administration has not done, which made him realize the importance of voting even more.

“I think that now more than ever, I’m just like, ‘wow, I’m tired of this’ and I think that made me more inclined to vote,” White said. 

Madison Hoffbauer

Prior to this election, freshman Madison Hoffbauer said she didn’t know what to expect from in-person voting. 

“I wasn’t even really sure how the ballot was going to look at first,” Hoffbauer, an electronic media & broadcasting major, said. 

Last weekend, she traveled back home to Warren County, Ohio, to cast her ballot as a newly eligible, first-time voter. 

According to Hoffbauer, she felt compelled to vote due to this election year. 

“It’s such a big election year, especially with the two candidates who are very polar opposite and it’s kind of split up the entire country,” Hoffbauer said.

The recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett particularly spurred her to take to the polls to protect her rights as a woman and others’ rights as LGBTQ+ individuals and minorities. 

Despite opting for early voting, Hoffbauer said the polling location was crowded that Sunday afternoon when she and her boyfriend arrived. 

Though there were several people in attendance, Hoffbauer said she had felt safe during the entire process. The polling station was fitted with plexiglass, floor markers to maintain social distancing and everyone was wearing the mandatory facial covering. 

This election, Hoffbauer said she voted for certain candidates based on issues that were important to her such as human rights and equality, healthcare and environmental issues. 

According to Hoffbauer, she hopes that the country, which she feels is currently so divided, can find a pathway back to unity through this election. 

However, she said she feels like the election results will determine the outcome of many national and global issues. 

“Depending on who wins, I’m not really sure how we’re going to hold up the next four years,” Hoffbauer said.

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