Students Intend to Vote Despite Choices Offered
Most undergraduates, eligible to cast a presidential ballot for the first time, intend to vote today--despite their disappointment with the choice of candidates.
While only about 20 per cent of Harvard's undergraduates are satisfied with the presidential choices, 80 per-cent still plan to vote, a recent Crimson poll revealed. Many students say they are disenchanted but will vote for the candidate whom they "are least afraid."
I have seen many people, after the hassle of waiting three weeks or more for an absentee ballot, look at the names printed on it and toss the ballot aside in disgust," David M. Brownell '83 said yesterday, adding that many students are voting for President Carter "as a hedge against Reagan."
Many students describe their presidential selection as a practical--not a passionatechoice from a list of weak candidates. "I voted absentee in Texas for President Carter because he is the least of all the evils," Robert J. Fleming '83 said yesterday.
"I like Anderson but he hasn't got a ghost of a chance in Texas so I voted for Carter in order to stop Reagan," Vicki Eastus '83 said yesterday, adding that she is frustrated because "the presidential race seems to have been going on for decades with choices that are not mine--there have got to be better people somewhere."
The choice offered in the election is especially disheartening, many students say, because this is the first time they have been of voting age in a presidential election. "Your first election is something you look forward to participating in, and it is upsetting that when it comes there is no one to get excited about," ack J. Correia '82 said yesterday.
One student disagreed with the opinion that the choice of Presidential candidates is poor. "This is not a race betweenlesser evils. Everyone can find a candidate who is closest to them ideologically," Paul E. Cayer '83 said yesterday, adding that he supports Reagan "because of his conservative views."
"I've got my absentee ballot tacked to my bulletin board. I am not fired up enough to pay the price to have it sent home," Steven Tapp '71-4, one of the few undergraduates to have voted in two previous presidential elections, said yesterday.
Most students are not passionate about the election because they "have not been asked to sacrifice anything." he added.
When I started college, students were being sent to Viet Nam. You better believe we were passionate," Tapp said, adding that now "we have show-beats for candidates--all image and no substance. We need election reforms that will ensure that we have a choice of real leaders."