By Dylan Frazier
Four years ago, the University of Findlay hosted its first ever mock election, where students voted between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. In the 2016 Rock the Mock event, Trump defeated Clinton 47.3% to 37.2% with 268 votes to Clinton’s 210 votes. Findlay Media Network (FMN), which was made up of the Pulse, PRSSA, UFTV, and WLFC, hosted the event and invited local candidates to a meet and greet with students to talk about the importance of voting and their campaigns. A total of 567 total votes were cast.
Fast forward four years and the University of Findlay students seems to have changed their minds, voting Joe Biden as the 2020 Rock the Mock president. With 268 votes for Biden and 265 votes for Trump. The former VP had a slight edge with 50.3% of the vote compared to Trumps’ 49.7% of the vote. It was much closer than the 2016 Rock the Mock.
In 2016 voters went to actual “voting booth” locations in the AMU and the Davis Street building, and 567 students and faculty voted. This year, due to COVID, it was a hybrid event where students had the ability to vote in person at the CBSL or via a UF Update email. In place of the meet and greet with local candidates, throughout the day, short videos with people of interest around campus spoke about the importance of voting. When the polls closed at 4:30 p.m. 533 students and faculty had voted.
Assistant Professor of Communication and the Pulse Adviser, Amy Rogan, understands that four years ago the world was much different and there wasn’t any fear about spreading an unmitigated virus across the UF community, but was still happy with how things turned out.
“I think while we were limited in how to conduct the polling and the control over the ‘security’ of the votes, I was very pleased with the responses we received,” said Rogan. “This year’s event was two and half hours shorter than the 2016 event and we reached nearly the same numbers.”
Leah Alsept, a junior Journalism student at UF, led an Instagram takeover on the University’s Instagram page. While she did think it was very intensive, she was proud of the final product.
“So much work goes into making content engaging for students! As a journalist primarily, I didn’t realize that marketing takes so much work, but I’m glad I had to experience connecting with students in that way. I just hope they’re more aware of voting in the general election now and can see the importance that their vote holds.”
The main purpose of the event, Rogan says, was to bring awareness to the issues at hand and to let students know their voices matter in the election process.
“I think the state of the world right now has made it difficult for students and people in general to ignore politics. There are so many issues that are front and center and truly impact every area of life. And that’s ultimately what we wanted to do,” said Rogan. “We wanted to not only raise awareness about the importance of voting but the importance of knowing the issues and understanding where each candidate stands on each issue.”
If you want to learn more about the candidates and their stances on issues, jump on the Pulse’s Facebook page, for daily posts explaining the candidates’ position on various issues.
Last time, the election was a blowout victory for Trump and there was no sweating it out, this time was much different as it came down to the last minute, which led to a race to the finish.
“I loved seeing how close the two candidates came to winning. They were neck and neck most of the time and I was sweating to see who’d win at 4:30 p.m. I’m so happy people voted online over their email as well. I’m just so happy with Oilers this year,” said Alsept. “Seeing as we had to change things up, it went well. Despite not breaking 2016’s vote count of 567, we made it in the 530’s so I’m sure it’ll be better four years from now with COVID hopefully gone.”
While Biden may have won in the mock election on campus, the 2020 Presidential Election is still less than a week away.
Early Voting hours go as follows:
Oct. 26-30: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov.1: 1 to 5 p.m.
Nov. 2: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.