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Vote Trump or Clinton? Many in Hall are cool to both
Students in particular find party nominees on fall ballot unappealing
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 46th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner on Saturday in Washington, D.C.

The old philosophy of choosing the “lesser of two evils” in the voting booth isn’t working for some Hall County residents and students during this presidential election season.

“Not only am I not excited, I am disgusted,” resident Terry Wright said. “I’ve never voted anything but a straight Republican ticket, but there is no way I could vote for (Donald) Trump and still like who I see in the mirror. I will vote but I will write in someone else.”

On the Republican side is a candidate many believe to be a demagogue and racist. The Democrats chose a nominee who many believe is politically corrupt and compromised.

“I think so many students have no faith in (Hillary) Clinton or Trump for many reasons,” said Douglas Young, a political science professor at the University of North Georgia in Gainesville. “Since both candidates are pushing 70, they each have a long record of statements and actions to defend.”

Austin Mitchell, a senior at East Hall High School, can’t vote this election, but even he is turned off by what he sees from the two main candidates.

“I won’t be of voting age until a few months after the election, but I’ve been following it for a long time and detest the prospect of Clinton or Trump winning,” he said.

That same feeling resonates with many of Young’s students at UNG.

“Students share the electorate’s severe doubts about the character and credibility of both candidates,” Young said.

For Heather Keith, who said she has voted Republican in the past three elections, this year brings a need for change.

“I dislike them both for very different reasons,” Keith said. “With Clinton, I personally feel as though she lacks serious moral ethics. And with Trump, I strongly disagree with his views on policies, especially immigration. As a mother of three children, student and full-time employee, I feel it necessary to show that we are a vocal enough community to take a stance against the majority parties and show America and our children that we have more than two options.”

The influence of third party candidates is something student Patrick Price is seeing as more voters turn from both Clinton and Trump.

“The Libertarian Party is becoming stronger due to the desire to break the two-party system,” Price said. “While the Green Party believes in more government control and faster change, they look at the Libertarian Party’s effect on Republican voters and wonder, ‘Well, why can’t we do that?’”

Student Jessica Swords said she considers herself a “little ‘L’ libertarian,” but she’s not sold on that party’s nominee.

“Perhaps the better question is, ‘Why am I not supporting Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?” Swords said. “Both are not constitutional candidates ... and Hillary is too corrupt to even qualify. While I would prefer Trump over Hillary, I do not think that he truly understands the importance of the Constitution and limited power of the executive branch.”