I Can’t Tell My Friends Who I Really Voted For

Photo: Getty Images.
In the sea of #ImWithHer Instagrams, Make America Great Again hats, and endless election appeals and rants clogging your Facebook feed, it's easy to think you know exactly how your friends, family, colleagues, and even the stranger sitting across from you on the subway plan to vote on Tuesday. But in the midst of this contentious campaign, some voters are keeping their picks private. Ahead, hear from two voters — one for Trump; the other for Clinton — who have decided to stay mum on their choices at the ballot box.

Meet The 22-Year-Old New Yorker Voting For Trump

She's fresh out of school and living in the solidly blue state of New York, but this young professional is casting her ballot for the GOP nominee. This May, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in art and design, a minor in creative writing, and $41,000 in student loans that she’s paying off herself. She's working in a male-dominated hedge fund that's overwhelmingly #withher. Tell me about yourself.
"I didn’t vote in the last election or the primary because I was in Michigan, and I didn’t send an absentee ballot because I was lazy. But my parents are fiscally Republican and socially liberal. I think the last election my dad voted for Mitt Romney. This time he will be voting for Trump, obviously. I get a lot of my political views from them."

I just don’t think linking my name to his is going to do anything positive for me.

A 22-Year-Old Voting For Trump
Wait, what about your mother?
"My mom is not terribly political. She, like me, listens to my dad. He likes to read all the news and tell us what’s going on. And then we, like, debate it there, basically. But I don’t believe she voted in the last election. But this time, she will be voting and she will be voting for Trump." Okay. So what are your reasons?
"I’m a lot more scared of what Hillary does than what Trump says. Of course, you can’t defend a lot of the things that he’s said, though it has been behind closed doors. And if you took a transcript of the things that I’ve said about friends and family and strangers, I’d probably be making national headlines as well. I think that the things he’s said, a lot of it is for press, a lot of it is for attention, and when it comes down to it, Hillary has scandals under her belt. And she was basically trying to keep the women who are Bill’s supposed victims quiet all this time, and now she’s trying to stand on a platform of women’s rights and women's power. I don’t believe any of the things that she’s saying, and I think that she’s fake."
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.
What about the women who have accused Trump of groping them?
"A lot of those have been, not disproven but, like, for example, the one woman who said that they were in first class — her whole recount of that scenario was that he lifted up the armrest and did all this stuff. And then it came out that there is no armrest in first class. So it’s like, things of that nature where people came out, but their stories could kind of be discredited. And it’s all very convenient timing before the election. I’m not saying I don’t believe these women. I’m sure that it’s possible. I’m sure 50% of them did happen. I’m not standing behind what he did. But what I’m saying is, Trump’s not saying that he’s a feminist. Whereas Hillary is, but she’s not acting the way that a feminist would act. She’s standing on a platform of feminism, and I just don’t buy it." Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
"I definitely would. I almost minored in women’s studies. I’m all for women’s rights, equal rights, equal pay."

Why not share whom you’re voting for?
"When it comes down to it, people really aren’t as educated. Even myself, like, there are things that I definitely don’t know about politics. But it doesn’t matter what you say. Just saying the word Trump gets people very riled up. The mass amount of people are going to freak out — 97% of people, they hear Trump, they think redneck, gun lovers, anti-abortionist. "I just don’t think linking my name to his is going to do anything positive for me."

I’m all for women’s rights. equal rights, equal pay.

"Secret" Trump Supporter
Do you ever let it slip?
"No. At work, a lot of people are pro-Hillary. And they talk about it a lot. I just stay quiet. And when people say are you voting, sometimes I just say no or I’ll ignore the question. "

This Bernie Backer Isn't Actually Happy With His Vote

This 40-year-old male photographer lives in Miami, located in the great battleground state of Florida. He was a passionate supporter of Bernie Sanders in the primary, boldly singing his praises on social media and donating about $300 over the course of the primary. But in the general, he reluctantly cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton. You were a big supporter of Bernie Sanders. What drew you to his campaign?
"I’ve been a supporter/fan of his for a long time — a really long time. Not just since he’d gotten on the national stage. And I really, truly believe that he’s the only qualified guy for the job as far as what the country needs, as far as pretty much every single issue, except for maybe gun control, because I’m a no-gun kind of guy. I agree with him, and I think he’s proven time and time again that he’s not corrupted by all the various things that we’re attacking both of the current candidates for."

Why are you voting for Hillary this go around?
"Oh, boy. The only reason is that I don’t want to feel the way perhaps some people did when they voted for Ralph Nader and Gore lost [in 2000]. I didn’t vote for Nader...I didn’t want to be on that team. I really didn’t. God forbid Donald Trump wins, and I voted third party. I don’t want to be that guy. And it sucks, because that’s really not how the system is supposed to work."

If I could vote for a fictional character with a better chance of winning than Hillary I’d do it.

A former Bernie supporter who voted for Hillary Clinton.
How did you feel voting for Hillary?
"Not until the last second did I make that choice, and to be honest, I take it back. It’s not something I did easily or without a lot of thought. And even after I did, I regretted my decision immediately. That’s exactly how I felt when I walked out. I did not make the vote that I wanted to make. I did what I thought might’ve been best. Peer pressure, social media pressure, fake news pressure. It’s a sh*tty year to be an American."
So you regret the choice.
"Somewhat. I don’t like the woman. I never liked her. The first election I could ever vote in, I voted for Bill Clinton, when I was 18. I think that was the first time he ran. I remember back then there were things in the news that sort of gave me a bad impression of her. Whitewater, it turned out that she had more involvement than he did. I mean, if you ask me specific questions about the crap they’ve been throwing at her, I’d probably fall on her side on most of them. Something irks me about the woman, and I don’t trust her. And the Clinton Foundation stuff rubs me the wrong way. In hindsight, as much as voting for Clinton in the '90s was a good idea, like, there’s a lot of crappy fallout that came out of that as well. So who knows." Do you feel that way about Bill Clinton, too?
"After his presidency, he didn’t really have the spotlight as much as she did. I mean, he got out of office, and then she sort of became the politician, for lack of a better way of putting it. So I don’t think there was a lens on him the same way there was on her. So hard to say. You know what, okay, without using any reasoning, science, news, facts, or anything like that, I would say that if the two of them were standing in a room together, I’d go to him, not her. Part of me still thinks there is something cool about Bill Clinton."

Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
"What wave? You know there are so many different kinds of feminism."

I don’t like the woman. I never liked her.

A "secret" Clinton supporter.

Tell me what wave you identify with.
"It’s hard to say. The newest one is a little bit hostile. So I’m not a fan. I believe in equality. But it’s such a difficult line to toe because where is right and where is it not right. I think in certain places like voting, working pay, etc. etc., all of those places where there should be no discrimination against anyone for their sex or gender, of course, it should be an even playing field. But at some core level, and it’s not just human beings, every species has a different behavioral pattern between men and women. So, like, it’s tough. I don’t really know completely how to answer that question. I’m a liberal. I’m a Democrat."

Whom have you told about whom you’re voting for?
"Nobody. You."

Why not?
"She doesn’t have my support. And I think people have a hard time making a distinction between being anti-Trump and pro-Hillary. And I do not want myself in the pro-Hillary camp. I am not pro-Hillary. I’m anti-Trump. If I could vote for a fictional character with a better chance of winning than Hillary, I’d do it."

More from US News

R29 Original Series