It was still quiet at the polling station in the Theil building at 9:00, when the first lectures started. Only 62 people voted this early in the morning, according to the organiser Saskia Kleewein. Despite the polling station being on campus, it’s not just students coming to vote: employees and residents of the area are also casting their votes here. Maarten, the organiser at EUC, observes that a many different people are coming to vote at unusual locations. “The municipality offers a lot of unique locations to vote at, such as EUC, where people don’t usually have the chance to visit.”

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Not strategic after all

Sara stemmen campus verkiezingen – rebecca lamping
Sara considered voting strategically. Image credit: Rebecca Lamping

Criminology student Sara (19) voted for Rob Jetten from D66. At first, she was hesitating between two parties: PvdA-GroenLinks and D66. She considered voting strategically for PvdA-GroenLinks, but she ended up deciding to vote for the party she felt agreeable to.

The criminology student also attended the EFR/EenVandaag election debate, though she says this did not influence her decision. “In terms of content I thought the debate wasn’t great, it’s to attract voters, but it was funny to watch.”

Elena stemmen campus verkiezingen – rebecca lamping
Elena would like to see more equality in the Netherlands. Image credit: Rebecca Lamping

Elena (19), a Pedagogical Sciences student, also thinks it is important to express your opinion and not vote strategically. She explains: “If you want some change, you need to stand by your principles. If everyone votes strategically and not for the party they really want, you’re showing herd behaviour.”

The student chose the leader of the Socialist Party. She would like a more socialist Netherlands. According to Elena, people are being forgotten in our current society, they are just numbers. She also believes that the gap between rich and poor is increasing, and she would like to see more equality. “We need to treat each other equally and with respect, despite the fact that we are all different.” She says the SP best matches her views and feelings.

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The Netherlands at number one

Tristan stemmen campus verkiezingen – rebecca lamping
For Tristan, cutting the fat off the EU is important. Image credit: Rebecca Lamping

Tristan (18, studying Business Administration and Law) voted for JA21. He changed his mind a few times; first he wanted to vote for FvD or PVV, but in the end he will be voting for JA21. He does not agree with PVV’s election programme, and he likes JA21 more than FvD, Thierry Baudet’s party. For him, cutting the fat off the EU is important. “The Netherlands needs to prioritise itself, but we don’t have to leave the EU.” He believes the government is here to support its citizens, but only to an extent: there needs to be a clear separation between government and citizen. He also opposes ‘woke education’. “I oppose woke propaganda in primary school.”

To find out which right-wing party he would vote for, he first watched videos by NOS explaining what every party stands for. Based on this, he made a selection and looked into these parties more.

Stronger together

Jasper stemmen campus verkiezingen – rebecca lamping
Image credit: Rebecca Lamping

Jasper voted for Marieke Koekkoek, the second person on the Volt party list. For the International Bachelor Economics and Business Economics (IBEB), Volt is the clear choice: they take the younger generation into account, they fight for a strong, united Europe, and want to tackle the climate issue. According to the IBEB student, we can achieve a lot together with Europe. “Countries can achieve more together.” Climate is important to Jasper. He also does not consider himself particularly left or right wing. “I don’t want to go too far to one side.”

When the lecture halls were empty and almost everyone had gone home, the Theil building counted its 1000th vote at around 17:30. In the end, about 1300 people voted on campus this election day.

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