Voters reflect on what could have been in 2016 election
It’s no secret that the 2016 election was one of the ugliest in our lifetime, as the public suffered through extensive coverage of the two most unfavorable candidates in history.
With general election campaigns that focused more on insults and scandals rather than the minutiae of policy, many voters have been vocal in expressing their dissatisfaction with the race and the candidates themselves.
“If I could have anything that could be changed, it would literally be who the candidates are,” said Patrick Gettings, a freshman undecided major. “There’s just major flaws in both candidates. It’s a very embarrassing election to me.”
First time voters at Ball State have reported great disdain for the options they have been left with, despite millennials voting in record numbers.
Besides frustration with the candidates, voters were also unsatisfied with the way candidates are selected. Nicholas Smith, a sophomore English education major, explained that in his opinion, proportional voting for general election candidates would be a much better option.
Smith believes winner-takes-all states do not allow for people’s individual voices to be represented adequately.
“Democracy is intended to be people going out there and giving their voice,” Smith said. “The more representative we are as a population, the more voices will be heard. So maybe people won’t be so angry if the candidate that they want to win doesn’t win, because at least they were heard.”
Peter Beerbower, a junior biology major, said he would also like to see changes regarding how candidates are elected.
“In the primaries, I’d like the democrats to get rid of the superdelegates, because that essentially rigged the election and screwed over Bernie Sanders,” Beerbower said. “I also think in the national debates they should have at least one debate where they have Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson all debating. Whether you like them or not, they could at least have some sort of interplay with the major party candidates.”
Students also felt that the platforms were not including serious discussion about issues that were important to them, criticizing the lack of focus on social and environmental issues.
“I just didn’t see very much about the environmental issues that I care about. You really have to search for that stuff and there’s not much of it,” said Melanie Yoder, a sophomore national resources and environment management major. “That was really important to me because of my major.”
Kam Bontrager, a sophomore family and consumer science education major, was also unimpressed by the lack of conversation about issues that were important to him.
“I wish the debates would have seen more questions regarding the environment and global warming, and the rights, or lack of, of LGBTQ+ individuals,” Bontrager said. “Those were issues I was dying to hear about, and there was little to no conversation about them.”