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Trump tops UNG mock election with voter anxiety as underlying theme
Many say they're choosing 'lesser of two evils,' club president says
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Politically Incorrect Club member Gabriella Arrambide explains how to fill out a ballot Thursday during mock presidential election held by the Politically Incorrect Club at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus. Members of the Politically Incorrect Club were hoping to prompt discussion about candidates and get feedback. - photo by Erin O. Smith

University of North Georgia mock presidential election results

Students

Republican Donald Trump: 187

Democrat Hillary Clinton: 109

Libertarian Gary Johnson: 56

Undecided: 68

Not voting and/or not registered: 39

Green Party Jill Stein: 13

Write-in votes: 61

Staff

Clinton: 4

Trump: 4

Johnson: 1

Stein: 1

Not voting/registered: 1

Faculty

Clinton: 22

Trump: 8

Undecided: 2

Johnson: 1

Not voting/registered: 1

Republican Donald Trump has won a mock presidential election on the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus.

But the results of the informal poll conducted last week among students, faculty and staff reveal more than just the winning margin.

Across two days, 578 ballots were cast at a table display in the Nesbitt building sponsored by the school’s Politically Incorrect Club.

Dawson Rogers, president of the club, said the poll was about engaging voters in a meaningful way as much as it was about bragging rights.

“We want to know what people’s opinion is,” he said.

But the voting brought out people’s worries instead.

“I’ve heard an overwhelming amount of people just saying it’s choosing between the lesser of two evils,” Rogers said.

Turnout was strong and positive, with voters engaging other students while voting for Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

There were also options for those undecided voters or individuals who planned not to vote or were not registered to vote.
Write-in candidates were also accepted.

Among students, Trump received 187 votes to 109 for Clinton. The candidates tied among staff, and Clinton bested Trump 22 votes to 8 among faculty.

Gabriella Arrambide, a member of the club who worked the voting booth last week, said it was important to provide many options beyond Trump and Clinton.

But Arrambide said she knows some voters may have stayed away because they can’t support either candidate, one of whom will undoubtedly be the next president.

“We always go in and out about different policies,” she said, but added that this election has become more about who is best to be the face and voice of America to the world.  

Rogers said it was not uncommon to have 20- and 30-minute conversations with voters, and that uncertainty about both Trump and Clinton was a regular theme.

“From what I see, there’s a lot of anxiety,” he added.

Both Rogers and Arrambide said they lean to the conservative side of the political spectrum and can feel the angst themselves.

“The people who come in and talk to us have very strong views, or they’re asking questions ... so there’s two different extremes,” Arrambide said.

And Mickey Reese, president of the Students for a Progressive Society, a liberal group on campus, said he sees it, too, among his members.

Many liberals who once supported Bernie Sanders, for example, feel betrayed by the primary process and disappointed with Clinton's candidacy, Reese said.

But one thing will likely turn them out for Clinton nevertheless.

“This general disgust of Trump is pretty much what’s driving people to vote,” Reese said.

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