The wind blew stiffly as the long line of midday voters stood outside the dark and abandoned Oxford Mall to cast their vote for either Trump or Clinton for the 2016 Presidential Election.
The sky was grey and ashen to match the somber mood that people felt for this year’s Election. As the lines grew longer and longer voters many first time expressed their views on the candidates and unanimously agreed that Hillary Clinton was the right choice for them.
Parents clutching babies and elderly men and women were most of the voters in attendance. Hospital workers on break laughed and joked about the outcome of this country if Trump were to win the election while others stayed silent choosing not to speak on the election at all.
The sky turned darker and by 12:30 it began to get colder as the only illumination came from the bright white lights in inside the mall. The poll director with a forced smile on her face directed people to their correct lines.
University of Mississippi Religious studies professor Mary Thurlkill walked briskly to the voting poll with her son who was dressed in a matching pantsuit his brown- blonde hair swooped to the side. Thurlkill, 47, eagerly talked about the election and revealed who she think is best to run this country.
She looked lovingly at her son as she said “We are voting for Hillary Clinton, she represents many of the values that I hold as well as the values I hope to instill in my son. Also I grew up in Arkansas while she was the first lady and I’ve seen first- hand the positive things she can do in this society,” said Thurlkill.
Her eyes shone as she continued to gush about Clinton. Her son looked up at her his navy blue suit hanging off his body. Thurlkill continued to speak in hushed but firm tones.
“I think it would be exciting to see her at a national level and enact many of the things that she has done already.”
Thrulkill’s voice became disappointed as she talked about the effect that the election has had on our country as a whole. She believes that the election has been very hard on our country.
“I think as a whole the election has been very difficult. The nastiness and the idea that as human beings we cannot try to communicate and understand each other instead of just hurl nasty names at each other. “
People behind Thurlkill in line nodded their heads in agreement with her opinions while some pondered and stared off into space.
“The occurrence of violence on both sides has really disturbed me. The attacks on republican polling stations, The attack on the church in Greenville Mississippi, and the idea that people feel that it’s okay to resort to violence has been one of the most saddening part about the election season.”
The lines started to stretch all around Jackson Avenue as Thurlkill started to talk about Trump she chuckled at the thought of him pushing her glasses up on her face.
She paused for a second before clearing her throat and saying that for a man that has so much wealth and privilege he has done very little for anyone else in terms of charitable deeds and actions.
“We just seem to hold very different values and hopes for our country. I hope that he’s ingenious and if he shall obtain power that he would use it for good. That’s a hope with very little evidence at this point.”
The poll director rang out the standing positions for people with the last names starting with A-K Thurlkill and her son quickly switched sides so they could correctly cast their ballot.
When to the other side Thurlkill continued to express her views on the election both past elections and present.
“I was very enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders and his statements. I would’ve been equally happy with both him, or Clinton, so we had two good candidates in my opinion. I voted on the democratic ticket during the primaries.”
Housewife Sandy Edwards, 41, did not express enthusiasm for the election as she stood in line to cast her vote. Her facial expression showed little interest as she spoke about the candidates.
She looked down at the ground as she spoke.
“Today I will be voting for Hillary Clinton because it would be best. I don’t like Donald Trump I never have and honestly wish we had better candidates.”
She dragged her feet on the pavement as she looked ahead to go cast her vote for Clinton.
The line moved at a steady pace last names A-K on one side and M-Z on the other side. Voters chatted making small talk to strangers.
An excited Father tossed his kid around as he sported a Clinton sticker on his green vest.
In the middle of a line stood Elicia Jenkins 52. She smiled brightly as she played in her golden curls while walking to go secure her vote. Jenkins is a receptionist at Oxford Housing Authority she had been waiting in line for over 30 minutes.
“I don’t who I am voting for and the reason is somebody has got to win and we need more going on in our life. I’m hoping that whoever wins will bring in a good report of helping us do some changes that we need.”
She smiled again as she talked about how good she felt about the election and good it is for people to be experiencing this.
“I always come to vote to this precinct and I have been coming here as long as I can remember.”
Jenkins shook her head as she declined to offer an opinion on Trump she just nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders as she moved up a place in line.
Mixed conversations melded together, people moving around getting antsy as they stepped closer and closer to the pale light inside the Oxford Mall.
21 year old student at the University of Mississippi Chad Knight stood in line for over an hour to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton and when asked about Trump politely offered his opinion.
“I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because a lot of her views align with mine. I don’t particularly like her past, but I think she is a lot more logical than the other candidate so I think it’s just a better fit.”
Knight spoke calmly as he continued to talk about his reasoning for voting.
“I’m not voting for an independent person because I feel like while we don’t give them the same platform or publicity as the other two parties I feel like it would be a wasted vote to do that.”
Knight stroked his chain as he talked about how long the election has been for him and how this is his first time voting in a presidential election.
“”I think in comparison from the last go around people are less enthused about it and don’t seem to care about either candidate.”
“Everyone is going to this we lost either way attitude and I agree.”
Knight chuckled when asked his opinion on Trump going on to say he has nice TV shows to keep it polite.
The clock struck 1 o’clock as more and more voters piled into Jackson Avenue Center. Jessica Marshall was one of many to arrive and joined the latter as she began her wait in the increasingly long line.
Marshall, 23, is a recent graduate of The University of Mississippi and announced her vote for Clinton.
“I am voting for Hillary Clinton today since she has had so much experience in politics and has been there for so long that she knows how to get things done and will have an easier time of actually doing a good job of being the president,” said Marshall.
She took a long pause before making a neutral statement about Trump and his campaign.
“He has his views and his opinion and I think some are not quite right with what he said he would do. I just feel like he has said things and his opinions on things can’t be done.”
Marshall also gave her opinion on the state of this country and where she think that it’s headed. The wind picked up causing her straight black hair fly all over her face.
“It will interesting I don’t know if it’s going to lean one way or the other, but for awhile it will be a little unsettled I think. Once things kind of get going and the initial hype is over then I think things will be back to a decent place.”
This election for Marshall is interesting and different and has been glad at the different candidates in this election.
Daniella Oropeza a 21 year old correspondent for News Watch stood to the far left of the crowd taking everything in on her video camera as she filmed the voting process and interviewed different political parties.
She smiled as she took a break and talked about her views on this election and how important the voting process is.
Oropeza said that she wasn’t able to vote today due to scheduling conflicts with her job.
“I feel like America has spent so much time becoming undivided from our past and I feel like this election definitely divided people and not just blacks and whites, but also other races, religions and genders.”
“I think people should vote for those who are saying they are not going to vote because they don’t like either candidate need to vote. Every vote does count. I had a teacher tell me that that is a myth and that every vote does not count especially Mississippi’s but that just doesn’t sit right with me.”
Oropeza smoothed her hair down as she discussed the fate of this country.
“Well I was looking at live polls and I feel like our fate is going to be in Hillary’s hands. She’s been on top of the polls all day and on top of the polls in the past month so I think its leaning towards her, ” said Oropeza.