For many San Diego State students, the 2020 Election is their first voting experience, However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, some have decided to cast their vote through mail-in ballots.
Alex Sheron, a journalism sophomore, plans to head to the polls to make sure his vote is secured.
“I think it’s kind of cool to be able to go to the (polls) and physically cast my vote and know that it was cast,” Sheron said. “With the mail-in, I absolutely trust the postal service, but accidents happen. It’s more of just a sure possibility of getting my vote in.”
For some, voting in-person is not only a safety hazard but a time commitment. Environmental engineering sophomore Skye Benson is mailing in her ballot because it is “convenient,” although she has concerns.
“My vote does not feel safe, but since I am in a primarily blue state and I’m voting blue this election, it won’t be as significant if mine is not counted for that reason,” Benson said. “In swing states, that is definitely a problem to worry about. You hand off your ballot, you don’t know if it makes it there.”
The pandemic is just one of the many factors making this an interesting election year. In conjunction with the past six months of quarantine, nationwide protests and heavy social media campaigning have made students feel more encouraged to vote. Unlike previous years, students said they think there will be a large voter turnout among younger generations.
“I think that this will definitely be one of the biggest elections, at least among our generation,” Benson said. “Because there’s so much out there that says, ‘Go vote!’ (when) you log into Instagram it pops up and says make sure you register to vote.”
Already, the total number of early votes and mail-in ballots cast have surpassed totals from the same time in 2016. The San Diego County Registrar of voters tweeted on Oct. 29 it had received over 930,000 ballots.
UPDATE: We have received over 937,000 ballots from voters!
You don’t have to wait until Election Day to vote. Return your ballot to a Mail Ballot Drop-Off location or the Registrar’s office. Your assigned polling place opens this weekend, Oct. 31 – Nov. 3 #VoteSaferSD #SDVOTE pic.twitter.com/ZvwmUvOIeP
— SAN DIEGO COUNTY ROV (@SDVOTE) October 29, 2020
“I think that there has been a lot of energy put into this election by younger people because of the recent protests and because of the obvious things that are being taken away from this presidency,” Nicholas Ebadat, a journalism sophomore, said. “A lot of the misinformation that gets people riled up is a part of the reason why I expect more young people to vote than they would have in the last few years.”
Ebadat also said that the low voter turnout in previous elections likely has to do with people thinking their votes are insignificant.
“I think, for the most part, there is a general disdain for voting because people feel like what they vote for doesn’t matter,” Ebadat said. “I think a lot of that has to do with how the last election went with Hillary winning the popular vote and electoral college choosing Trump instead. I feel like after that people feel like their voice isn’t being heard as well as it should be.”