By late tonight or early tomorrow morning, the public will most likely know who the next president of the United States is.

Political affiliations, debate gaffes, negative campaign ads, and slogans affect students’ decisions in the voting booth. People vote for different reasons and are compelled by various causes.

“I vote because it’s my responsibility as a citizen of this country to cast my choice for my leaders,” said junior Raymond Cheung.

Taylor Fleming shares a similar belief.

“[Voting] is one of the ways I express my opinion as a citizen.”

Others believe they should vote because it’s their privilege as American citizens.

“I vote because it is an exercise that few in this world are able to experience freely,” said sophomore Jake Koch.

While aggressive campaign ads can be influential, students vote for a variety of reasons.

“I base my vote on the voting records and the expressed written plans of the candidates,” said Koch.

Cheung and Fleming focus more on social and economic issues, respectively, while some students endorse a candidate strictly because of party affiliation.

“Some students really look into the issues and even consider third-party candidates, but many just stick with the party their parents belong to — or reject said party because their parents belong to it,” said sophomore Jake McAuliffe.

According to the Pew Research Center, Democrats receive the biggest boost from young voters.

In 2008, 66% of people younger than 30 years old cast their ballot for President Obama. The research center did, however, also find that young voters were not crucial to Obama’s victory.

Every election voters have the chance to express their freedom of choice; today is that day.

“[Voting] is more than a right, it is a privilege,” said McAuliffe. “And now that I am of age I am excited to humbly recommend the candidate that I believe will best represent American interests at home and abroad.”