While presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton make their last attempts to garner support and boost their ratings in the polls, there are movements like “Rock the Vote,” which aims not to push voters toward the right or the left but instead to the voting booths.
Victoria Blakey-Padilla, a sophomore chemistry major, thinks that many millennials don’t realize that Clinton and Trump are not the only options.
“Third parties are always an option and sometimes they’re a better option than the two main candidates,” Padilla said. “In Gary Johnson’s case, he entered the race way too late and couldn’t catch up. His platform didn’t have time to gain recognition.”
But for some students, like senior journalism major Ryanne Boyer, this election is not one they wish to be a part of.
“The first reason I am not voting is because I don’t believe in voting for the lesser of two evils,” Boyer said.
Her second reason is that she believes Clinton has already secured victory in this election. Boyer made her decision not to vote when Bernie Sanders lost the democratic nomination, leaving two candidates that she refused to choose between. For most millennials this is their first time voting in a presidential election.
Dr. Naomi Wish, professor in the department of Political Science and Public Affairs, is worried that first-time voters will think this is how a regular election is conducted.
She elaborated on the comments major party candidates have made. Millennials vote less often than older generations, according to Wish.
Her main concern is that the example the candidates have set by using derogatory language and discussing their private lives will impact the millennials’ perspectives on elections and the political atmosphere.
“Hopefully millennials will vote and believe that it is important to be politically active and work for the system,”
Senior Vincent Santore, a business information technology managing major, has been politically active by working on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, helping out Congressional candidate Bob Patterson and getting involved with the New Jersey College Republicans throughout the state.
Santore shared Wish’s concern about how this election has been handled in regards to having two extreme candidates, and said it would be “terrifying if this becomes the new normal.”
“We have two completely opposite sides of the political spectrum becoming the new normal, destroying the moderates,” Santore said. “The political middle is largely forgot in this.”
The fact that the political middle is being forgotten completely displaces the moderates, leaving a lot of voters unsure of where to cast their vote, according to Santore. Santore said one way to combat and remedy this situation from happening again is to vote.
“If you want someone to become a political figure, vote in the primaries and for Congress. Your vote does matter. It brings these people to a national stage,” Santore said.
Other Seton Hall students are in a similar struggle to find values they share with either candidate.
Senior Nicole Floyd said her conscience won’t allow her to vote for either party, so she is considering voting for a third party candidate.
Floyd, a sociology and Catholic studies double major, described this election as a “moral crossroads” with each candidate leading to a dead end because the major party candidates are both bad options and neither should be president. Having the option to vote for a third party candidate is an alternative that Floyd is considering.
“I think it would alleviate a certain amount of pressure that a person in that situation would feel,” Floyd said when asked the merit of voting for a candidate who isn’t likely to win the election.
Neither Trump nor Clinton represent the majority of the population, according to Floyd, leaving many people wondering if they have any other options.
Evelyn Peregrin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.