Montclair State Students Speak Their Minds About The 2021 Gubernatorial Election

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Published November 2, 2021
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The Montclarion
Kitty Pagano, a senior communication and media arts major, holds up an "I Voted Today" sticker. Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Montclair State University students took a step toward democracy by casting their votes on campus and voicing their opinions about the New Jersey gubernatorial election.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy went head-to-head with Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Though there are many students who care about the political issues related to New Jersey, the polls on campus were not crowded. Hidden past the front desk of Machuga Heights, barely any students even glanced into the room while walking by.

Brandon Coch, a freshman marketing major, will not be voting in the election. Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Brandon Koch, a freshman marketing major, will not be voting in the election.
Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Brandon Koch, a freshman marketing major, gave insight on why he is choosing not to vote for this election.

“It’s a Democratic state, so it’s probably [going to] be Murphy,” Koch said. “So, the vote doesn’t matter. Both campaigns are terrible and they both didn’t make it clear what they were going to do.”

Andrew Linden, a junior theatre major, is voting for Murphy. Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Andrew Linden, a junior acting major, is voting for Murphy.
Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Andrew Linden, a junior acting major, said he is voting for Murphy.

“I usually go with the leading Democrat,” Linden said. “[Murphy] is not the best, [but] he’s not Republican.”

The argument of voting for Murphy either because he is a Democrat or because he is already likely to win appears to be a popular one.

Jalynn Miller, a freshman family science and human development major, has not turned 18 yet and thus cannot vote, but would still vote Murphy if she could.

“If I could vote, it would be for Murphy just because I believe he’s [going to] win,” Miller said. “I don’t have any personal feelings toward him. I’m neutral on both sides.”

For many Montclair State students, this may be the first gubernatorial election they can participate in.

Freshman family science and human development major Jaylynn Miller (left), and freshman business administration major Emily Swedelson (right), voiced their opinions on the election. Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Freshman family science and human development major Jalynn Miller (left), and freshman business administration major Emily Swedelson (right), voiced their opinions on the election.
Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Emily Swedelson, a freshman business administration major, said this was an important milestone in her life.

“It’s the first time I was able to vote and I was excited to exercise my right,” Swedelson said.

Contrary to some of the other students, Nyla Egerton, a freshman accounting major, and Detrah Bowman, a freshman medical humanities major, are highly invested in the outcome.

Accounting major Nyla Egerton (left) and medical humanities major Detrah Bowman (right), both freshman, sat down to talk about the gubernatorial election. Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Accounting major Nyla Egerton (left) and medical humanities major Detrah Bowman (right), both freshman, sat down to talk about the gubernatorial election.
Avery Nixon | The Montclarion

Bowman voiced her opinion on what she would like to see the New Jersey governor focus on after the election.

“Income equality and inflation in housing,” Bowman said. “It’s clear now that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.”

Egerton had a similar mindset regarding what the governor should pay attention to.

“Property taxes and inflation,” Egerton said. “Everything is inflating, but the pay wages aren’t going up. It’s super prevalent to the entire country.”

Many students interviewed at Montclair State believe Murphy will be victorious and become governor for the next four years. Regardless of the winner, this year’s election day allowed students to express their beliefs and have their voices heard.

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