Out-of-state Students Choose to Vote Locally

By Kira Cole
BU News Service 

BOSTON – It’s not surprising that most students in Boston are from elsewhere. Many students exercise the option of submitting an absentee ballot in their home state, but at Ward 21, Precinct 2 (111 Cummington Mall), many out-of-state students said they chose to vote in the Massachusetts senate race to make a difference for the Democratic Party.

Students offered different reasons for voting locally.

Alex Steinberg, a New England Law student and Boston University graduate said the senate race in his home state of Texas is not in doubt.

“My vote here matters more, but in general, I just vote down party lines,” said Steinberg. “I always vote democratic.”

Charlotte Holley, a BU freshman and first-time voter from Chicago, said she chose to vote in Mass. because BU posted information on how to vote, which she said she found easier than applying for an absentee ballot.

“Honestly, I just wasn’t on top of my deadlines,” said Charlotte Holley, a BU freshman from Chicago. “I went on the BU website, and they made it really easy to register. It was just important to me that I get my vote in.”

Meredith White, a senior at BU, said she votes wherever she’s living at the time.

“I’ve moved around a lot, so I don’t really know where home is,” said White. “My parents live in Brussels, so in the past I voted absentee, and it was just a boring sheet in the mail.”

White also said she preferred the experience of going to the polls, over going the absentee route.

“I’m not even sure if the absentee ballots are counted immediately,” White said.

“It’s more fun to be voting in the US, but it was interesting voting from Europe,” White said. “In Europe, A lot of people care, and they virtually all support Obama. It seemed like 80 percent of people there were democratic.”

Freshman and first-time voter Ellie Solomon, from Atlanta, said she knows her home state will vote “straight republican,” and she wanted to vote somewhere where she felt her democratic vote wasn’t in the minority.

“Yeah, BU made it easy for me, but I also feel that my vote matters more here,” said Solomon. “My friends and I don’t really talk about voting much, but we all have a good idea about the [Republican majority] around us when we’re home.”

Of the 20 students who were willing to speak while waiting in line to vote, all said they were voting for Obama. In fact, according to an interview with Pew Research Center Executive Vice President Paul Taylor, youth voters have a very “pro-government” and “pro-Obama mindset.”

Chicagoan Holley said she’s more concerned with the Mass. state election than the national election.

“Whether I voted [in Illinois] or here wouldn’t have made a difference in respect to the national election,” said Holley. “So, while it was convenient to register here, I was also attracted to the added bonus of voting for Warren.”

BU Junior Jessica Patti, a Florida resident interviewed in passing, said she chose to vote absentee to help the democratic cause in a swing state.

“It was important to me that I sent in my vote to make any difference I could for the Democratic Party,” she said.

 

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