Saturday, January 29, 2022

The 2020 Presidential Election from the Eyes of UM Students and First-Time Voters

By Kate Abraham, Emma Webb, Dania Nunez, Olivia Settlemires
IMC students

As votes continue to be counted across the country, many first-time and student voters are among those nervous about the results. Photo courtesy of

Without a doubt, one of the outstanding topics of 2020 is that of the presidential race between current President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden. This long-awaited election has caused much tension for the American citizens as they have struggled to foresee the results of the race. The arrival of this highly anticipated election has brought a variety of different emotions to the population of America, including many students at the University of Mississippi.

The common emotions being felt by many include uncertainty, nervousness, anxiety and confusion. The uncertainty of what America will face for the next four years is providing supporters of both candidates with a plethora of feelings. 

The current population of students at the University of Mississippi contains a large number of first-time voters. Lucy Cavett, a 20-year-old junior who also falls into the first-time voter category, emphasized how exciting it was to be able to participate in this election.

“This is such a crazy election, and it is so cool that I was able to play a part in it, even if it is a small part,” Cavett said. “I drove home for the day so I could vote.”

Cavett is one of many students who returned home so they could participate in the polls due to not being registered to vote in Lafayette County, MS. Like many, she is dealing with feelings of excitement and anxiety as she awaits the results of the vote.

“It is so nerve-wracking because it can really go either way,” Cavett said. “They are so neck-in-neck, so it is going to be really interesting to see which way it goes. I am excited and nervous.” 

At this point in the election, much controversy is surging over the ballot counting process. Some are accusing polling stations of fraudulent activity and inaccuracy of voting. This is causing anger for many Americans, and requests for ballot recounts have been suggested. Arguments are arising over these accusations, which is causing an even more unpredictable election and more anxious feelings for the American people. 

Another first-time voter and senior at the University of Mississippi, Anna Margaret Foster, 21, has a mixed stance on the accuracy of these votes. Foster feels that the different ways of voting due to Covid-19, such as mail-in ballots, have the potential to skew the outcome of the election for either party.

“I think that in the long run, it might help us to have taken this time to actually count these votes and to make sure that the person that becomes president is the person who actually won the vote,” Foster said. 

Ole Miss alumna, 23-year-old Ally Weatherly, also gave her opinion on the matter.

“Every vote counts,” said Weatherly. “You’re an American, and voting by mail should not invalidate your place as an American voter. If you want it to be every vote counts, then all votes should be counted.” 

“This will definitely be one for the history books,” said Abby Morgan, a junior at The University of Mississippi, who also falls into the category of a first-time voter. Morgan was one of many students who sent in an absentee ballot.

“Having the option to send in an absentee ballot is useful for many people who may not be currently living in their registered state,” said Morgan. “However, it can be worrisome to see how many ballots are lost or not counted because they were filled out incorrectly.” 

As the election continues to unfold with the results still yet to be announced, the tension continues to heighten. No matter the outcome, this election will be a prominent memory in the minds of students at the University of Mississippi and the population of America as a whole.