How BYU students decided to cast their votes


PROVO, UTAH – Six Brigham Young University students from all over the country sat down with Newsline to talk about why they cast their vote this year for either Trump or Biden.

The students came from a wide range of backgrounds, family situations and majors. Different fears, hopes and values played a role in whom they decided to vote for. 

The three Biden voters said their news sources were most often The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and others. The three Trump voters said they got most of their news from Ben Shapiro, Newsmax, The Daily Wire and from news aggregators like Facebook. 

Jack Elison, an economics major from Carmel, California, who voted for Joe Biden, said, “The biggest issue for me in this election was the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.” Elison said he felt more confident in a Biden administration’s ability to control the virus.

Mallory Pruitt, a Houston native who studies dance, said social issues made her decide to vote for Biden. “I care about the Black Lives Matter movement; I care about immigration,” said Pruitt.

Students who supported Donald Trump had their own reasons.

“I sell commercial real estate for a living,” said Andre Henao, a finance major. “My big priority is that [my clients] have their taxes low so they’re able to, one, shelter their taxes, but as well they’re able to invest more into real estate.” 

Mark Hailstone, a senior at BYU studying accounting, also cited the economy as a main reason for supporting Trump. “Number one reason why I voted for Donald Trump,” said Hailstone. 

Students also discussed Trump’s rhetoric, hopes that Biden would be able to be a bipartisan leader, sexual assault allegations against the two candidates, policy differences between the two candidates and more.

Despite the differences of opinion, almost all the students interviewed expressed hopes that Republicans and Democrats would be able to work together during the next four years. Elison said “Whether you’re for or against, I think everyone can agree that America needs change right now.”

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