First-time voters reflect on the presidential election night

Chatwan Mongkol, Associate News Editor

Last night was the first presidential election night for many Quinnipiac University students as first-time voters, and they have different feelings about it.

“I didn’t realize I would be so anxious today,” said Emily MacDonald, a senior political science major. “I woke up this morning around 6:45 (a.m.) in a panic but as the day has progressed, I have reached a weird state of relaxation I think because I know all the votes are in, and it’s just a matter of counting them.”

Connor Lawless

Lydia Jones, a junior health sciences major and the Black Student Union (BSU) vice president, also said she was anxious during the night. She said she hopes to see a record turnout in voting numbers.

“I am trying to keep my emotions in check and not get too hopeful/sad because I know the results may change as they continue to count the mail-in votes,” Jones said.

Even though the students felt anxious, they were glad being a part of it.

“This is the first presidential election I have been able to vote in, so it’s extremely meaningful and it’s happening at such a pivotal time in history,” MacDonald said.

While some people were spending their election night scrolling through their phones looking at live results, over 20 students were discussing the elections at a watch party hosted by Leading Women of Tomorrow (LWT) and the BSU.

They discussed what is going on in the country, ways students follow the elections, divisions the election has created among friends and family, the two-party voting system, significance of this year’s presidential election and post-election fears.

Elizabeth Lupinacci, LWT director of events and a senior political science major, said the watch party was a success.

“I had hoped that we would have a meaningful discussion, and people would have a safe and respectful place to share their opinions and comments about the election,” Lupinacci said.

As a co-host, Jones said it is important to have a serious conversation about the state of the nation.

“We wanted to get a variety of different perspectives and hear from a bunch of different voices,” Jones said. “There are so many different thoughts and ideas that need to be explained. When people are willing to talk and collaborate, misconceptions are corrected, and divisions start to heal. Simple conversations at home are a great start.”

While students said they care about different issues, they agreed that the 2020 presidential election is historic because of the ongoing issues in the United States.

“The last four years, but specifically the last several months, have been extremely difficult for our country, and we’ve seen an increase in polarization,” MacDonald said. “I, personally, would love to see a change in leadership.”

Lupinacci, who also casted her vote in the presidential election for the first time, said she voted for someone who is not going to be harmful to the country and people she loves.

“The person who I voted for was not my first choice, but I believe it was more important for me to vote for this candidate as they had better values,” Lupinacci said.

Regardless of how this presidential election turns out, students hope violence does not ensue.

“I truly understand the frustrations people have, but when there’s violence, there’s always more finger pointing and polarization,” MacDonald said.