ELECTION 2018: What Claflin students are saying

Nov 02, 2018

Some will vote, some won't: Why?


Opinions vary on why students will and will not participate in the Nov. 6 midterm election, and about what can push more students to cast ballots in this or other elections.

Juwan Guinyard, 20, freshman mass communications major, said, “I probably will not (vote) because I am not a resident of South Carolina. I’m an out-of-state student and I won’t be able to go home to vote. I was told to change my residency to Orangeburg, but I didn’t want to go that route.”

But Guinyard said he could get interested in voting.

“I don’t really know what’s going on. If I had someone to break it down to me, I might vote. The lack of trying to be informed is the downfall of my generation.”

 Stephon Boykin, 21, junior history major, does plan to be a part of the midterm election.

“I plan to vote because voting confirms your right as an American citizen. If you don’t vote, you’re basically not an American citizen,” Boykin said. “It’s just shocking how in the last election how many young people, particularly African-Americans, didn’t vote.”

Boykin said the recent meltdown hosted by the SGA and NAACP to get students registered was revealing. “I was very surprised to see how many students weren’t registered to vote and they were of age.”

Junior biology major Iris Singletary also plans to vote.

“I do plan to vote because I don’t believe in complaining when the power of our nation is put into the wrong hands,” Singletary said. “Why not take the initiative and use your vote as voice?”

Singletary cites two reasons why young people do not participate in elections: “they don’t know why to vote and they don’t feel as if their vote really matters.”

And even though she is voting, she said she does not know enough.

“Honestly, I know about the House of Representatives and the difference between a Democrat and a Republican, but I don’t exactly know who I’m voting for.”

Making the process simpler with more information available would boost participation, she said.
“I think we must break down the information about voting for the younger generation to understand. The terminology used when politicians discuss politics sometimes can be confusing for my generation.  If we make them understand, I think they would be more conscious and aware when it’s time to vote.”


Take every vote seriously’


Voting should be taken seriously as a way to counter President Donald Trump, a senior mass communications major said.

“Yes, I think elections are important to vote and I have been eligible to vote since I was 18,” Amber Price said.

Trump says things that make people angry but a lot of people don’t vote in response, she said.

“What we fail to realize, if we don’t take elections seriously and don’t vote, we give the opposite team the upper hand,” Price said. “We need to take every vote seriously.”

After 18-year wait, he will vote


Isaiah Griffin of Brooklyn, N.Y., said he will be heard by voting in the midterm election.

“I will be exercising my right to vote. I have just started voting last year and I will exercise my right every chance I get to,” Griffin said. “I waited 18 long years to get the right to vote. My vote will be heard no matter what.”
The midterm elections are important, Griffin said.

“From my understanding, these midterms are voting for representation in the House,” Griffin said. “The goal of each party is to win the House. More control of the House means more control of what can be done.”

Griffin said voting was not always important to him.

“I did not know a lot about elections growing up. I grew up in the North. Not saying the South had better understanding of politics, but I grew up in the hood of Bed-Stuy hoping I live another day. We had way more to worry about than elections.”
Most of the people in the country know the importance of the midterm elections but there is a knowledge gap with young people, Griffin said. “I think the younger kids need to be educated in it more. “

Wanting to know more


Although midterm elections are approaching, studies show the next generation of voters doesn’t vote or know what they’re voting for.

Claflin University sophomore Mykel Barno from Florence said, “Me personally, I registered to vote but never voted. So I don’t know the process of how that would go. I want to though.

“I don’t know if I’d vote because I don’t really know what’s going on. I also don’t know the process of voting here in Orangeburg, but if I was back home in Florence, I would’ve had a better chance at voting.”

Barno does have an assessment of what will happen in South Carolina on Nov. 6. “South Carolina is a Republican state and Democrats won’t score big here.”
‘We already learned ... what happens’


In the midst of the first midterm election for many student voters, Claflin University students have their own reasons and plans for engaging in democracy this November.

Bolanile McKinney, freshman mass communications major from Atlanta, plans to vote with hopes of making a change.

“We already learned from the election of President Trump what happens when people don’t vote,” McKinney said. “I think it’s important for people to vote and play a part.”

McKinney cites  the Trump administration’s stance on transgender people as motivation to vote.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a memo recently announcing the redefinition of “sex” and “gender,” a notion essentially threatening the recognition, rights and protections of transgender citizens at a federal level.

“Our voice matters and we should go out and vote.”

McKinney recognized celebrities’ efforts to encourage voting by those recently turning 18, appreciating the push as something that created awareness of the midterms.

“It’s really nice that they’re doing all these campaigns to get people who are just turning 18, all the 2000s kids, to make sure they get out and vote.”

President does not care

President Donald Trump should be impeached because he doesn’t care about Americans, Claflin sports management major Kieara Blocker said.

“I care about the midterm election because this is where we determine who will be in the House,” Blocker said. “As a Democrat, we need someone who will speak up for the wrongdoing that’s going on.”

Trump doesn’t care, Blocker said. “He’s not really doing anything for me or African-American low-income college students.
“It is time we stand up for what is right,” Blocker said


More midterm knowledge needed

English major Dozel Anderson said he should know more about voting and elections.

 “I don’t know much about midterm elections,” Anderson said. “But I should become more knowledgeable, especially with the president we now have in office.

“It affects my group of people, African-American, and minorities more than ever.”

Change depends on people voting, she said.

“I do know if I want to see a change, I need to start with the state I live in. I am registered to vote, and I plan on voting when my time comes.”

Voting can change things

People are mistaken that their votes do not matter, Claflin sophomore Daekwon Randolph said.

The midterm elections are approaching and are important because the winners will affect people’s lives, he said.
“Although I am originally from Maryland, I do plan to vote  because I am finally old enough,” Randolph said. “So I want to fulfill my civic responsibility.”

Randolph got deeper into Congress’ power.

“Congress will always have a say in what goes down within the government. One example of Congress’ power is that they have the ability to override or overturn something.”

Voting to determine those in Congress matters, he said.

“Every vote matters. If you collect all of those who did not go out to vote, did not register to vote when they could’ve and or those who feel like their vote doesn’t matter, I guarantee that that many elections could’ve gone another way.”

And that could have changed things, he said. “People could get closer to having a government or democracy that we really want and need.”

‘Following the route of my parents’


Parental choices will influence how Kinlyn Williams votes in the midterm election, the junior biology major said.

“I can’t lie, I do not know much about the midterm elections,” Williams said. “I do know I am registered to vote. I will be voting, and I will be following the route of my parents as to who they will be voting for.”

Williams said voting is important as one of the surest ways for citizens to have influence with elected officials.

“Politicians are connected primarily with the most vocal elements of their constituencies, Williams said. People who do not tend to vote are less likely to receive attention.

“Every vote matters, and it’s only right to do so,” Williams said.
Overexposure to politics


Being exposed to politics early led to one Claflin student’s lack of  interest in elections, Tyease Jenkins of Sumter said.

“No, I will not be voting. I do not know much about these midterm elections,” Jenkins said. “My mother talks about it sometimes only because she used to work in the law enforcement and her boss used to be a mayor, so she knows a lot about politics.”

Jenkins’ message to young people is not political.

“I encourage other kids to live their life. Yes politics are important, but they won’t understand some things until they get a certain age,” Jenkins said. “I think that was my problem. I was exposed to it early and I did not know anything about it, so I avoided political conversations my family would have.”

No vote, no hope

The midterm election is very important if you are a Democrat, a Claflin business management major from Rock Hill said.

“Yes, I am voting because I want what’s going to be right with our country,” Emmanuel Feaster said. Vote-less people are hopeless people.

“It’s also important that our youth take the time to go out and vote,” Feaster said. “It is our only chance to be heard.”

‘Every vote counts’


The nation is at a halfway point in the term of the president and midterm elections will determine the course for the next two years, said Rosetta Mitchell, mass communications major.

“This is when you have the opportunity to choose who you think needs to be in office,” Mitchell said. “This is the halfway mark for presidential elections.

“Democratic or Republican, you should make sure you vote,” Mitchell said. “Every vote counts.”


Nation can prevent another ‘joke’

The 2016 election was taken as a joke, a Claflin junior from Gaston said.

“I plan to vote,” Shakari Riley said of the Nov. 6 midterm election. “Well one of the reasons is because of who’s in the White House currently. Everything is centered around his social media, which is a complete joke.”

People need to take the power the people have and vote, Riley said. Otherwise the result may again be a joke.

“Hillary was obviously the best choice,” Riley said.  “Look at all the damage Trump has done.”

Poll worker stresses the vote


Experience working at the polls and with voter registration has shown Justin Barno the importance of elections, the Claflin student from Sumter said.

“Yes, I will be voting. The midterm elections are very important,” Barno said. “I do not think the nation as a whole takes midterm elections seriously enough.”

Barno works at the polls in Sumter and has worked in the voter registration office there.

“I knew a little bit about it growing up. It was only because my mom used to talk about it all the time and because she worked in the courthouse in Sumter,” Barno said. “People at her job always talked about it and it ended up landing me a job at the voter registration office.”

Barno encourages young people to gain as much knowledge as possible about elections and politics in general. “ I encourage every person legal to vote to make sure they vote.”

The midterm elections are being held halfway through Trump’s presidential term, and the makeup of Congress’ two chambers could affect his ability to govern,” Barno said.

 “The outcome of the midterms could reduce Trump’s powers or might work in his favor. Thanks to a very favorable election map, Republicans could pick up Senate seats even if Democrats take the House, and a gain of even a seat or two would change the entire complexion of the Senate.”
Responsibility to vote


Voting is a moral responsibility, a junior political science major said.

Nea Richard said, “To me, voting is a privilege and the right and duty of each and every component of a democratic system. It’s a moral responsibility of all eligible citizens to vote.”

Votes matter, Richard said.

“Having everyone vote can mean a lot when it comes to having someone to represent your community,” Richard said. “The objective of a government is to implement various policies for a betterment of its people.”

As far as the midterms elections, “I feel like people only go out when it’s the presidential election vote, sometimes not even then,” Richard said. “A lot of people like to be like, ‘well it’s not the president so I’m not going to vote,’ and a lot of young people don’t do that either.”

Richard has eyes on the gubernatorial race in South Carolina between Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and Democratic Rep. James Smith.

 “I have been looking at different candidates and I have been doing research and came across how our current governor doesn’t do for the State of South Carolina and I have been leaning towards James Smith as a Democrat  because he has a stable plan to raise funds for South Carolina.”

Young people are not awake


Too many students are not awake when it comes to voting, Claflin sophomore Tariq Edwards from Dumfries, Va., said.

“I would vote because every vote makes a difference. It’s your civic duty to do so and we could have a hand in the political atmosphere,” Edwards said.

“South Carolina is a Republican state,” he said, citing hatred and Confederate flags he sees. “Democrats could make a difference and have a gain in our generation, but a lot of us aren’t awake.”

Edwards said it is important to know what’s going on in the news and how voting should be about doing  research on the different candidates. People should know the different “camps of thought.”

“Although this isn’t the presidential elections, everyone has been really comfortable since we had a black president and didn’t really take the voting serious,” Edwards said. “Now look where it’s gotten us. We now  have to take action so we won’t get someone else incompetent in office.

“We could really control what’s going on and who’s in office if everyone took the time to participate,” Edwards said. “Democrats could really score big gains.”



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