Citing civic responsibility, pride, students cast midterm ballots

Julia Goldman, Contributing Writer

On Tuesday, Nov. 8th, millions of Americans made their way to the polls to cast votes in this year’s midterm elections. Tulane University students were among those exercising that right. 

“I’ve been waiting for this day forever,” freshman and New Orleans resident Morgan Bennett said. “I have a lot of younger cousins, so I vote to make sure that they can have a decent future, and so there are people that represent them or look like them elected.”

Bennett’s peers at Tulane hail from 50 states, according to the school’s admissions website. As students who will benefit from the choices made by the elected officials for their foreseeable future, Tulane students from all over the country decided to use their vote to promote their own values. By mail and in-person and between mid-semester exams and assignments, here is how those students cast their votes Tuesday. 

Voting by mail

Forty-three percent of voters cast ballots by mail in 2020, according to the U.S. Census, and mail-in ballots are a popular choice for college students attending an out-of-state school.

Freshman and New Jersey resident Jason Strauss opted to vote by mail. 

“With the way politics are today, things are just so much more divided than ever,” Strauss said. “And increasingly, elections come down to very few number of votes. I don’t think it’s responsible of me to just have the attitude that my vote doesn’t count like too many other people do.” 

Voting in New Orleans 

Another route out-of-state students can take to vote is registering here in New Orleans with their Tulane address. When educated on the issues and candidates running, they are able to decide where their vote will have the most impact based on the voting demographic of each area. 

New York resident Rebecca Greenhouse registered to vote in New Orleans rather than New York City. 

“I’m from New York, which is a very Democratic state,” Greenhouse said. “So I figured that they needed my vote more here, and I hadn’t registered yet, so it was pretty easy for me to do that.”

Out-of-state students are allowed to use their school address to register to vote and are even able to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail in New Orleans to avoid the confusion of figuring out how to make time for the polls on Election Day. 

Greenhouse said she voted near The Willow School, just a few blocks from campus and that option made voting easy for students who lack cars or other free methods of transportation. 

Students from New Orleans have the opportunity to vote in-person, and, with the perspective of her family and friends living in Louisiana as well as choosing to go to school here, Benett, a first time voter, voted proudly on Tuesday. 

The city was filled with polling stations, and Bennett went to a fire station with her family near her house to celebrate her first time voting. After she cast her ballot, she said, “Everybody cheered for me because I was a first time voter.”

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