Why do you vote?

“I believe the Electoral College and political system is broken,” said Shane Parker, UNA student. “I don’t believe it is suited for modern elections.”

Students at the University of North Alabama have conflicting views when it comes to voting in the 2012 presidential election.

Many students said they believe voting is a civic duty.

“The fact that it’s a privilege, not a right, makes me vote,” said William Nash, UNA junior. “I vote because it’s a civic duty, I guess.”

The idea of voting being a privilege, not a right, was mentioned by several students. UNA senior Tyrie Fletcher agrees that it’s a civic duty, but he said his vote means something to him.

“The biggest reason I vote is because I’m African-American,” Fletcher said. “People went through hard times to make voting possible.”

Fletcher said he remembered when he was little and his whole family would wait to go to the polls together. That value is instilled in him. He said he voted in the 2008 election and it felt amazing.

“It may sound cliché, but I felt like I was making a difference, like my voice was being heard,” Fletcher said.

Some students have an opposite view on whether or not their vote matters. Shane Parker, UNA sophomore, said he doesn’t plan on voting because he isn’t registered here and because he doesn’t agree with either party. Parker also said he doesn’t believe his vote counts.

“I believe the Electoral College and political system is broken,” Parker said. “I don’t believe it is suited for modern elections.”

Even though some students don’t agree with the Electoral College, they still plan on voting. UNA freshman Drew Treece said he is planning on voting but had not picked a candidate yet.

“If the votes were to matter and I voted for the third-party representative, then I’d be throwing away a vote that could actually help another candidate,” Treece said.

Despite how students vote, most have political views. The way in which students are obtaining those views vary greatly.

UNA junior Haley Clanton said her family helped her form her political views. She said voting is a privilege.

“My mother would kill me if I didn’t vote,” Clanton said.

Many others are not only influenced by their parents but also receive their information about candidates and issues from their parents. UNA freshman Jared Wood said he doesn’t watch television, so he gets his views from what his parents talk about.

“My parents said this is probably one of the biggest elections,” Wood said. “My parents feel it’s an important election, so I think that, too.”

While some get their views from their parents, some students are getting their views from other influential people. UNA senior Evan Curtis said his teachers have influenced him more than his parents.

“Teachers have always been the people who stressed how important voting was,” Curtis said.

UNA freshman Brittany Pruitt said she sees the importance of voting without the influence of anyone else.

During the voter rally in the GUC Nov. 5, UNA President Bill Cale urged students to use their right to vote.

“Take your time to vote,” he said.

The newly elected Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock followed Cale, speaking on the importance of voting. He mentioned the soldiers fighting for this country and their sacrifices. He also discussed other topics on the ballot.

“It’s very important to go out and vote,” Haddock said. “Get you an opportunity to speak.”

The last speaker during the rally was Whitney Wood from Higher Education. She urged students to vote as well.

“Tomorrow your vote is going to count,” Wood said. “Why will it count? Because you’re the voice.”