Election 2020, Writing

Not Worth Their Effort

With Biden as the nominee, these 3 voters will stay home

by Alexandra Ramos

When it comes to the 2020 presidential election, many Americans will be driving to the polls to place their votes for whom they feel will do the best job leading the country.

But for some, disappointed that Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, staying at home on Election Day is a better option. They said they don’t think Biden can beat President Donald Trump.

For Kristina Morales, William Ramos and Christopher Tassillo, voting seems more like a chore than something they feel the need to do.

Morales, left, Ramos and Tassillo,

“It’s not that I don’t want to vote,” said Morales, a 22-year-old senior at SUNY Old Westbury, who voted in the 2016 presidential election. “It’s only that I’ve done it once, and I feel that it didn’t do anything to change the tide … I just don’t feel like my vote really matters.”

Morales grew up in Suffolk County, New York, and although she attends school in Nassau County, she voted while she was home. In Suffolk, 47% of voters chose Trump, while 43% voted for Hillary Clinton, in 2016. The other 10% voted for people such as Jill Stein, the nominee for the Green Party, or Gary Johnson, the nominee for the Libertarian Party.

Morales said she has lost hope in voting in 2020, because Biden has become the likely Democratic nominee.

“I just don’t think he can win,” Morales said. “I supported Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but after their campaigns ended, I just don’t feel the passion anymore. I don’t think Biden is what this country needs, and I don’t think a lot of people want him either. If Sanders was back in the race, I think I would vote, but other than that, I don’t know. I just don’t see it happening.”

William Ramos, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, cited a lack of progress on issues that are important to him as a reason he plans to skip this year’s election. He, too, was hoping Sanders would be the nominee.

 “I wanted change,” Ramos said. “I wanted to see the country become something different than what it is right now, and now that the one man that I truly believed could make that change is gone, I feel hopeless.”

Ramos said a couple of people have criticized him for his plans not to vote, specifically his mother, Mary, who he said has consistently voted Republican since around the early 2000s, for George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

He said he voted for Clinton in 2016, despite the controversy surrounding the former secretary of state’s use of her own email server. Ramos said he worried that allegations against Biden by a former Senate staffer, Tara Reade, would hurt the 2020 Democratic nominee’s chances of winning.

“Look, I voted in the 2016 election,” Ramos said. “I voted for Hillary despite the fact that I didn’t like her. She wasn’t my first pick – again, Bernie was back then, but he dropped out in 2016, too – and she didn’t win. So how am I going to feel now that Bernie has dropped out again and that we have another person who has his own set of scandals running once more? I don’t see it happening. And I don’t feel that my one vote is going to change the tide or something like that. At least not for this election.”

When asked if he feels voting is his civic duty or if he feels bad for not voting, Ramos said that it’s something he’s grown to accept.

“I’m usually a very politically active person,” Ramos said. “I supported the Bernie campaign twice, even considering going door-to-door to promote him, but now I’m feeling like there’s no point. There’s so much against Biden right now and if I even attempt to support him, I’m going to feel bad.”

 Ramos said he knows that if he doesn’t vote, it could mean another four years of Trump’s presidency.

“I live on Long Island,” Ramos said. “There are so many people here in Suffolk County, and yet they swung Republican in the last election. What is my vote going to do? I’m sure there are thousands of Biden supporters out there – even Bernie supporters – who will vote for Biden no matter what, but I just can’t force myself to do it.”

Christopher Tassillo, a 21-year-old registered Republican who voted for Trump in 2016, said he feels that Trump is going to win regardless.

“There’s been so much against Biden,” Tassillo said. “I feel that because a lot of Trump supporters are going to come out no matter what – because that’s the way they are – he’s going to win. I don’t think my one vote is going to change that.”

Tassillo, who was a freshman student at Penn State at the time, voted for Trump in Centre County in 2016. Clinton beat Trump 48.71% to 46.32%, with the rest voting for third-party candidates.

When asked why he voted for Trump in 2016, Tassillo said it was more for economic reasons than social reasons. He said he still supports Trump.

“I’ve always been more of a moderate,” Tassillo said. “I have views that sit right down the middle. I’ve been leaning more towards social progression, like rights for women and everything else you would believe a Democrat would have, but when it comes to economics, I’ve always leaned more Republican, and I feel that’s where the country needs to go right now.”

Tassillo said many of his friends aren’t going to vote either – they don’t have the need to do so.

“It’s not just a me thing – I think more people don’t have the energy to do it,” Tassillo said.

Tassillo said the only thing that might get him to change his mind about voting is if Biden were not the nominee.

“Like I said, I’m more towards the middle,” Tassillo said. “I personally like Biden, but I don’t think he’s going to win. If there was someone I knew was going to win against Trump that had the views of Biden, I would possibly vote for them. But as of right now, I’m sticking to not voting. I just don’t feel that there is going to be serious change.”

May 7, 2020

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