Students Vote in 2022 Midterm Elections


People wait outside of the Rosemont Plaza polls.

Colin Beazley, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Despite taking place in a non-presidential year, the 2022 elections had higher voter turnouts than typical midterm elections. Voters flocked to the polls to cast ballots in an election billed as one of the most important in decades. Turnout has traditionally been a struggle amongst college-age students, but Villanova students were active at the polls.

Voting plans were shared among friends, as students made plans to vote with roommates or with larger groups. Many voted early with mail-in ballots either in Pennsylvania or in their home states. On Election Day, students utilized their own cars, traveled with friends or hopped on the free Let’s Vote Nova sponsored shuttles to make sure their voices were heard.

Sophomore Alexandra Loke was a first time voter who drove herself to the polls. Loke didn’t know what to expect going in, but came away from the experience excited to have made a difference.

“Everyone was helping me, all the (poll workers) that were older were so excited that I was young and coming out to vote,” Loke said. “After I filled in my ballot and cast my vote, and the guy gave me the sticker, it was super fulfilling. It was great to vote for the first time.”

Senior AJ Fezza also voted from his on-campus address, but it didn’t go as well. Villanova is divided into four districts based upon which dorm students live in, leading to widespread confusion for many students.

“It all started when I read a newsletter email from my department detailing my polling location based on my residence hall,” Fezza said. He drove to that location and found that he was not on the registry and was referred to an election official, who directed him to a different polling location. The same thing happened at the second location, but Fezza had success at the third. 

“Finally, I made it to my third location later that day in Bryn Mawr, after waiting in an extremely long line of cars on Lancaster Avenue,” Fezza said. “I voted, got my sticker and exasperatedly headed back to campus.”

While finding the right place to vote was difficult, Fezza said voting itself was fairly easy.

“When I got to the right place, it was fine,” Fezza said. “There was a short line and I was out within 10 minutes.”

Instead of dealing with the confusion of voting at school, many students chose to vote at home instead. After negative voting experiences in 2020 and 2021, sophomore Tyler Moore requested a mail-in ballot so that he could vote early in his local election elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

“My ballot actually came in early October and I was able to make sure I voted on time without issue,” Moore said, adding that he submitted his ballot over Fall Break. “I would say this has been my best experience yet. Third time’s the charm.”

While many states allow same-day voter registration, the Pennsylvania deadline to register to vote was Oct. 24, and the deadline to request a mail-in ballot was Nov. 1. Because of this, some students missed the deadlines and looked for other ways to cast their votes.

Junior Alex Rhodes was one of these students. Rhodes is a Pennsylvania resident, but couldn’t vote early in-person. When he missed the deadline to request a mail-in ballot, he went online and found that he could vote via provisional ballot due to his recent change in residence. Rhodes’ ballot will not be counted in the initial count, but his eligibility will be reviewed in a week to decide whether his vote will count.

“It was a decent experience today,” Rhodes said. “It was my mistake to not change my address, but even with that, the poll workers were nice and made it easy enough.”

While Rhodes was glad his voice was heard, especially in an important election, he doesn’t plan on utilizing provisional ballots in the future.

“No, I will not do this again,” Rhodes said. “I need to be more prepared next time and order one from home.”

Although students differed in how they voted, why they voted and who they voted for, all students were proud to have participated in our nation’s democratic process.

“I finally felt like I have a voice and I can actually make a difference with my vote,” Loke said. “I was super excited to finally get to do that.”