Recently, our Office of Civic Engagement hosted a Political Involvement Fair. It’s purpose was to provide students with the opportunity to meet representatives from various presidential and state campaigns. Student Madelyn Lunnen attended, and these were her thoughts. She says: “When I first went there, I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be a chance to get information about candidates, or internships, or debates? What I got was a voting registration table and fifteen booths from fifteen different candidates running for a wide range of offices, including senatorial, congressional, presidential, etc.
The first table I went to was Hillary Clinton’s. There, I was greeted by Claire Forste, an Illustration major. I asked her what drew her, as a BYU student, to Clinton. She replied that the candidate is ‘in tune with the needs of college students,’ will help the economy and America to progress, and is ‘more in tune with the Church’s teachings.’ Next, I visited the Trump representative’s table. I asked Pre-Business major Easton Brady why he supported the controversial candidate. He said that it was the ‘America First‘ platform that drew him in. He liked that Trump wanted to secure the border and further support and aid veterans. Brady added that the businessman isn’t afraid to say what’s true and what’s wrong. I also visited Gary Johnson’s representatives. Matt Grooms, who studies Economics, told me that Clinton and Trump were ‘so obsessed with taking away my rights [that] there was ‘no way I can vote for them.'”
Says Madelyn of her experience overall: “From what I gathered at the Fair, BYU students seem divided on which candidate to vote for. After speaking with the student representatives, I can see why they each support their candidate. However, I am no closer to deciding who I will vote for.”
While the information she gleaned from the event might not have helped her decide who to vote for, it supplied her with an opportunity to get informed through one-on-one, face-to-face discussions with the candidate’s representatives. All students, regardless of their political affiliation or impressions of the candidates, have the opportunity to realize the power of their vote, as well as its benefit and ease. Truly, #AllVotesMatter.