Research and self-assessment narrow voting possibilities

Corey Knollinger, Contributing Writer

This election cycle has proven to be a little tricky. Both parties are having problems with the voter base not being too thrilled with their presumptive nominees, and both presumptive candidates are facing claims that they are unlikeable and/or untrustworthy.

Since this will be the first time many college students vote, some may feel confused about who to vote for this November. While nobody can tell you how to vote, you can make voting seem a little less confusing by following some of these suggestions.

Always keep up to date on the issues. Watching and reading the news is the most important asset in an educated voter’s arsenal. This gives you an idea of what issues are most important to you, and what issues the candidates will focus on.

Speaking of focus, you must focus on beliefs rather than personalities. It may seem hard to do, but you have to separate the personality of a candidate from their views. You are not picking a friend, but a candidate for president. That may seem harsh, especially if a candidate you liked as a person and as a politician was voted out. You have to vote for who you agree more with, disregarding who they are.

By now most of us know what issues are important to us, so another way to figure out who to vote for is to take a quiz that aligns your beliefs with the candidates currently running for president. The best one I have found is on the website This website will give you a percentile score based on how much you agree with a candidate. If you choose to go even more in depth, the site can show you the exact issues you agree with the candidates on, which is useful for issues that may hold more personal weight for you.

If you have no desire to vote for either Clinton or Trump (the presumptive nominees), that’s just fine. You can explore third party options instead of going with one of the two bigger candidates. The bigger of these parties are the Green Party, which focuses on environmental issues, and the Libertarian Party, which focuses on states’ rights. There are countless other parties that you can become involved in, and support in your own way.

Voting is a privilege, so make sure to take advantage of that privilege in November, no matter who you end up voting for. While many may stress that you need to make a decision soon about who you should vote for, remember that there is no hurry. The election is not until November, so if you need to take the time to really understand the views of the person you are voting for, go ahead. Hopefully some of these tips can help.

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