Thou shalt vote for…

Religion has been a frequently discussed topic as Americans prepare for the 2012 Presidential Elections. For UVU students living in a predominately Mormon community, religion has been especially significant.

According to Caiti Hall, senior, the different religions represented by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have greatly influenced how citizens are voting.

“Romney wants to put God back into our country.” Hall said. She believes this has impacted many voters.

Hall, who is voting for Romney, said the fact that she and Romney both belong to the Mormon religion has influenced her decision, but not completely. She was initially drawn to Romney over Obama because she and Romney “share the same morals and values” due to their common religious backgrounds, but she has also researched both candidates beyond the religious realm.

“I have researched both platforms; not just assumed that because Romney is LDS he’s the best candidate.” Hall said.

On the other hand, Natalie Giles, freshman, says her religion has no influence on her voting decision. According to Giles, what she learns in church has no weight on her political judgments.

Other students like sophomore Ryan Christensen, have been “put to ease knowing that Romney is an active” member of the Mormon Church. Christensen also believes many Mormons are voting for Romney solely based on the fact that he is Mormon.

“Mormon people seem to latch onto Mormon celebrities and famous figures like Romney only because he is Mormon,” Christensen said. “I bet a lot of Mormons don’t know anything about Romney other than he’s Mormon.”

Student, Jayson Hitch grew up in a Mormon household but no longer calls himself a Mormon. According to Hitch, his religious beliefs do not influence his political decisions “at all.” He said even though his religious beliefs are different than his parents, they share the same political views.

“The fact that my parents are Mormon doesn’t influence how they vote, and the fact that I’m not Mormon doesn’t influence the way I vote either,” Hitch said. “I vote for whoever’s platform I agree with the most, regardless of religion.”

According to Hitch there is a common belief that Mormons are voting for Romney and non-Mormons are voting for Obama, but he is “proud to say that he and his parents do not fall into this common myth.” Both he and his family are voting for Obama.

Christensen also knows of a voter who goes against the common belief that non-Mormons are voting for Obama while Mormons are voting for Romney.

“My buddy who isn’t LDS is voting for Romney because he knows the principles that Mormons have and likes that they are taught to be honest,” Christensen said.

Hall’s cousin who is a practicing Mormon is voting for Obama because she wants to be different than the stereotypical Mormon.

“She’s trying to be different than other Mormons by voting for Obama,” Hall said.

Hall, Christensen, Hitch and Giles all believe that the aside from a handful of students, majority of non-Mormons on campus will be voting for Obama, while the majority of Mormons will be voting for Romney.

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