Elon University students cast ballots in NC to give vote more weight
Before the polls officially closed, more than 90,000 registered voters finished casting their ballots in 37 different precincts, or voting zones, in Alamance County.
Among those registered in Alamance County are Elon University students — including individuals originally from all over the United States who are voting in the battleground state of North Carolina in hopes of making an impact.
The First Baptist Church of Elon served as a polling place for registered voters in the Town of Elon.
Elon senior Courtney Whiting, a Connecticut resident, said she decided to register in North Carolina because she felt her Republican vote would make more of a difference in North Carolina than in her historically blue home state.
Elon senior Jonathan Cart, a Texas resident, also decided to cast his ballot in North Carolina because he felt it would make a bigger impact here.
“I felt like my vote would matter more here because Texas obviously will go red,” Cart said.
Elon sophomore Dean Shapero expressed a similar sentiment. Originally from New Jersey, Shapero also registered in North Carolina because he felt his vote for Republican candidate Mitt Romney would hold more weight in North Carolina.
Generally, Elon voters at the First Baptist Church, located at 621 E. Haggard Ave., seemed to vote Republican. The majority said they supported Romney, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and local Republican candidates.
Voters at the First Baptist Church also agreed the economy was the most important factor in this year’s presidential election.
Whiting, who voted for Romney, said she believes the economy is the most important issue in the election.
“I just know that I’m graduating from college this spring, and I would like to have a job,” she said.
Shapero also said the economy was the factor that influenced his decision most.
“I’m not necessarily against (President Barack) Obama,” Shapero said. “But, I just think right now downsizing government and fixing the economy is most important.”
Elon sophomore Michael Lindsey, a North Carolina resident, said he could not decide who to vote for until the night before Election Day. After considering issues such as the economy and social issues, though, Lindsey said he decided to vote for Obama.
“A lot of people like to assume Republicans are stronger with the economy,” Lindsey said. “As an (economics) major, I don’t always think that’s true at all. I think you do truly need bipartisanship, and I think a lot of the things Romney has said to just try and get votes aren’t necessarily the best policies.”
This consensus among voters at the First Baptist Church mirrors the results of the Elon University Poll conducted in August, which found that 48 percent of North Carolina voters deemed the economy the most important issue in the 2012 presidential election.
Other significant factors for voters at First Baptist Church included education, the environment, student loans and social issues.