Minority voters rallying for representation as Election Day approaches

Many minority voters feel underrepresented by both candidates this election season

The 2016 election is a unique one, featuring the two most unfavorable candidates in history, according to a poll by ABC News and the Washington Post.

Due to some of the comments made by presidential candidates this election season, minority voters, both within ASU and out, have had a difficult time casting their vote.

Jackie Osuna, public service and public policy sophomore, is Hispanic and Native American, and she said she's seen a lot of minority voters speaking out and encouraging others to vote this year.

"There have been moments that have made me feel as if we're targeted, but at the end, all we can do is vote for who has our best interest in mind and ignore the negative comments that come from them," she said.

Osuna said she doesn't think either candidate does a great job of representing or including the nation's minorities in their politics, and she thinks it's something they need to do.

"We promote so much on voting, but in the end, they don't have our best interest in mind, even though we are rapidly growing," she said. "That's why we need our voices to be heard by going out to vote."

Engineering senior Eddie Gonzales is Hispanic, but he said he isn't really offended by Donald Trump's comments.

"Throughout this election, I've never really taken Donald Trump seriously as a presidential candidate, so his comments made towards minority members, especially those toward Mexican immigrants, have never really had profound effect on me," he said.

Gonzales said that, although Trump has spoken out against his people, he respects his honesty as a candidate.

"Although Trump has been put on the spotlight for his comments, I know Hillary is just saying what she knows wants to be heard by the voters," he said. "So in reality, it actually makes me much more comfortable knowing that at least Donald Trump's comments are honest and sincere, whereas Hillary could just be making those comments to earn my vote."

Alyah Johnson, a community health sophomore, moved to America from Japan in August. This is the first American election she is eligible to vote in, and as a black voter, she's scared.

"I’m truly scared for this election," she said. "I know whoever the next president is, everyone’s going to be scared. We’ve had Barack for eight years, and I don’t think anyone particularly wants either of the people running this year."

Johnson said she doesn't think that either candidate has done a particularly great job of representing the minorities, but she does think that Trump is at least making an effort to come back from the comments he made early on in the election season about deporting Mexican citizens and building a wall along the Mexican border.

"I’m not Mexican, but I think he was targeting a bunch of minorities, making us feel like we are below everyone else, below white people," she said. "But I do think that, even though he’s said all of that stuff, he’s trying to come back from it and say now that he wants to help the minorities."

She said her overall feelings on the election are that minorities need to go out, vote, and get their voices heard.

"I think it’s very important that we vote, especially since the next president, they’re both 'ehh.' I also think we’re all scared to vote because we’re scared that our voice won’t be heard or that the next president won’t include or do anything to help the minorities."


Reach the reporter at aegeland@asu.edu or follow @alexisegeland Twitter.

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