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Democracy During a Pandemic

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

by Diana Gilday

The sticker a person might get after voting early (Image via Diana Gilday)

Due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 election is a very different one to years past.

In a survey conducted via Instagram, 102 people answered on how they planned on voting; whether it was mail-in/absentee, early voting or on Nov. 3.

Out of the 102 people who answered, 31 of them said that they were voting absentee. One of the main reasons people chose to vote absentee was because of being away from their district because of college.

One of the people who is voting early is Tom Sullivan, a sophomore at SUNY Oswego. “It was easy,” said Sullivan. “I’m at school so I got an absentee.”

Being away at college is not the only reason why someone would choose to vote absentee, however.

“I wanted to vote as early as possible,” said Purchase College sophomore Jude.

“The quickest and fastest option for me,” said Lucy Bankole, a freshman at Morgan State University. “They received both my mom and I’s ballot on the 23d.”

An example of an absentee ballot (Image via

Besides absentee, many people decided to utilize early voting. Early voting has become an increasingly popular option this year, especially in New York where citizens can early vote for the President for the first time. 36 people who responded to the Instagram survey said that they were planning on voting early.

Teddy Byrne, a senior at Ithaca College who is currently home due to COVID-19 said that he is planning on voting early because “It’s in-person but without having to worry about not being able to vote because of the lines.”

“To ignore the huge crowds as Nov. 3 comes up,” said Kennedy Douglas, a college sophomore.

“I was going to wait until Nov.3, but I was too excited to vote the fucker out,” said Stephanie Meditz, a freshman at Molloy College.

The line on the first day of early voting in Bayside, Queens (Image via Diana Gilday)

The remaining 35 responders to the poll said that they were planning on waiting until Nov. 3 to cast their ballot.

Lawrence Vodopivic, who is currently training for the US Marine Corps, said that he will be voting Nov.3. “I’m healthy enough to work in person, so I’m healthy enough to vote in person,” said Vodopivic.

“Voting early morning on the 3rd,” said Cian Walsh. “It works best with my schedule.”

“So I can ensure my vote will count,” said Maddy Mecca, a senior at Purchase.

Regardless of how one plans on voting, something everyone agreed on was the importance of voting.

Alexa Lugo, a college junior, said “I’m voting for my rights.” This sentiment was shared by another college junior, Marisa.

She says she is voting, “To protect my rights and the rights of my fellow POC, women and the LGBT community.”

“Voting is as patriotic as serving in the army,” said Alex Belyaniov, a Purchase College junior. “You have a voice and it matters, especially now.”



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