Editor’s note: Information on student responses was collected by students of a journalism course taught by Deni Chamberlin at the Greenlee School of Journalism. Information regarding the project was reported by Katherine Kealey.
A journalism class at Iowa State asked students whether or not they would vote in the 2022 midterm elections on Nov. 8, receiving responses ranging from students not knowing the candidates to making voting a family tradition. .
Iowa State students voted at higher rates than the average student in the 2016 election and voted in record numbers in 2020.
Ramesh Rohan said he plans to vote as it is an opportunity for people to interact with the government.
“Elections shape our government,” Rohan said. “…I’m not saying there aren’t systematic issues that elections don’t necessarily mean as much as they could…generally the best way for any citizen to get involved really is to vote and be an activism to talk about important issues.”
Haley Curtis said she thinks it’s unfair that people don’t have a say in who sits on the Supreme Court. Curtis said as someone with female anatomy; she will make sure her voice and her rights are represented on November 8th.
“I think if it’s like the supreme law of the land, I don’t understand why the president appoints them, and when we get to vote on some sort of any other prominent person in politics, at least we have a say. , but we have no say in the Supreme Court.
“I’m voting this Sunday, I think…I’m going with my family, so we’re all voting together,” Mckenzie Kennis said. “We generally, always do a family vote together, then we’ll all come down… and vote together.
Alexander Dennis said a vote wouldn’t swing an election in most cases, but voting is his own way of shaping what he thinks the world should be.
“I have voted in every election since becoming eligible to vote,” Dennis said. “I feel like it’s sort of part of to be American. You’re supposed to come out and make your voice heard, so it’s why am I voting.
Brianna Rivera said she probably wouldn’t vote because she would have to get and fill out an absentee ballot because she lives away from home, which she says is a lot of work.
“I think if there was a way to love looking for candidates so you don’t have to go through everything that extra research to actually see who they line up with [and] what are their values, because there are so many different candidates on the ballot and sometimes you don’t even make it know what is what,” Rivera said. “So you choose blue or red and that will be what you do.”
Aidan Sorenson said he felt compelled to vote and it was important that everyone’s voice was heard.
“I have to get a mail-in ballot, which is a little annoying, but nothing too difficult,” Sorenson said. “There are so many people that one vote won’t make a big difference, but you know, if everyone has that mentality, it definitely wouldn’t be a good thing.”
Jocelyn Pocernich said it would be her first time voting, but it’s an important task because it shows what she wants to see in her community.
“I’m definitely looking at women’s rights issues… I feel like the presidential election is really important, and it gets a lot of hype, but the midterm elections are a lot more important than we think said Pocernich. “Because they are the ones who make the decisions on a daily basis. The president has a lot of power in the United States, but the intermediaries are the people who make the small decisions that affect our daily lives.
Lwembo Mwenyi said he was not registered to vote but was working to update it.
“I feel like for the past two years I was really motivated to vote when Trump was in power,” Mwenyi said. “I didn’t like this guy much, but now I feel like everything is fine. We have the loan forgiveness, we have all these things going on. I’m not really a Democrat or anything, but I guess everything going on right now seems to be going well.
“I plan to vote, I believe it is the civic duty of all Americans,” Mitchell Oleson said. To make their voices heard heard and it is important in our history. Not all countries and people have this option. I would like to believe that how I vote will help determine laws and amendments with the government to become fashionable.
Field Marshal Vanoort said he does not plan to vote in this election.
“I haven’t really researched the candidates, so I feel like I don’t have anything worthwhile to vote on…” Vanoort said. “I’m not sure anything can really [motivate me to vote]I think I should personally make the decision to lean more into politics when deciding to vote.
Annie Vwananji Banda said she unfortunately could not vote as an international student but would like to.
“Sometimes they get frustrated that whatever they vote for isn’t being implemented because sometimes politicians come to your house when they want your vote but when they’re in power they don’t,” said banda. “They don’t tend to care about the welfare of the people down there, so people get frustrated.”
Kate Gera said voting for local judges is also important because they make decisions, especially since Roe v. Wade.
“Even if it is not a presidential election year, it is still very important to vote in your local elections as they will decide a lot of what happens within your own community and may even have a greater effect on your life than the presidential election,” Gera said. said.
Eugenia Park is from Texas, so she said she doesn’t think she can vote in Iowa. Individuals can register to vote in Iowa on Election Day. They will need to show ID and proof of residency, such as a letter with an Ames address, or students can show their Access Plus page.
“I would research the candidate…” Park said. “Also, the world is changing, so I really need to leave my mark there too.”
In the wings
Interviews were conducted on October 25 by Madison Bierl, Mackenzie Bodell, Emma Ellsworth, Charlie Gruhn, Samantha Mori, Eva Newland, Mikala Niemeier, Lauryn Schieffer, Whitney Schlotfeld, Anthony Smith, Kate Stangel, Thomas Turner and Brielle Tuttle.
One day, Greenlee School of Journalism associate professor Deni Chamberlin came into class and asked her class why they thought young people voted less often and whether or not it made a difference to vote.
After class discussion and brainstorming, the students decided to do a project to ask students if they intended to vote and why. Each student had to talk to five people.
“I know it’s a mostly white campus, but we need to hear as many voices as possible,” Chamberlin said. “Voices that don’t sound like us. I didn’t want them to just interview other journalism students.
Chamberlin advised his students to visit cafes and various campus buildings to find different populations of student voters.
“You’re going to have different people in the commercial building than you are in the Center,” Chamberlin said. “They’re all going to be really different, so expand the pool of people you talk to.”
The students in Chamberlin’s class all took the photos with the same lens and the same aperture. Even though the photos were taken the same way, Chamberlin said she and her class noticed the magnitude of the responses they received.
“When we talked about it in class, the general consensus was that there was a lot at stake even though it was a mid-term,” Chamberlin said. “We had a discussion that our lives are probably most affected by who’s at the State House in Des Moines…And then they heard some of their people say the same thing too.”