Betty Robertshaw paused for a few moments in the voting booth, the last four years of Donald Trump’s polarizing presidency and the campaign blitzes from recent months still fresh in her mind.
A registered Independent, the 73-year-old from the suburbs of Philadelphia had voted for candidates on both sides of the ticket, leaning slightly to the right. She quickly went down the list, filling in her favorites for Congress, state and local races.
Then, Robertshaw left without casting a vote for either of the presidential candidates headlining the ballot.
She did not support Trump’s policies on social issues and erratic behavior from the White House. But she worried President-elect Joe Biden was too old and she was not a fan of his pick for vice president.
“I just felt that I could not give my vote to either person, ” said Robertshaw, who did not vote for president four years ago either. “I just couldn’t do it. I did what I had to do for my conscience. ”The thought may be inconceivable to many Americans who participated in the hotly contested 2020 race. But Robertshaw is among tens of thousands of voters who cast ballots in the general election yet left their choice for president blank – a phenomenon known in political circles as an “undervote. ”
Numbers were way down from 2016 but even in a presidential election touted as a turning point for the country, some voters still could not choose – or would not choose – the person they wanted to fill the position in the nation’s highest office.
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