According to unofficial results from Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, more than 4.1 million ballots were cast on November 8, 2016. Of those cast in the general election, over 77,000 voters did not select one of the three presidential candidates listed on the ballot.
Two Georgia voters we previously spoke with followed through with their intentions not to cast a ballot in the presidential race. Retired U.S. Army Colonel Robert Roth from Columbus is a veteran of three combat tours, registered Republican, and father of four. Emory University student Arhum Qazi from Macon is the son of Muslim immigrant parents. In a previous interview both said they would not cast a ballot for Trump, Clinton, or a third party.
Both remained unchanged in their decision and said events unfolding days before the election strengthened their stance. Roth’s wife and daughter, who had previously pressured him into voting for Donald Trump, said they could not vote “in good faith for anybody” and “didn’t vote for either candidate.”
The morning after the election, both voters expressed shock and disbelief in the election results. Qazi stated he “was convinced that Hillary was gonna win 100 percent.” Roth told his wife, “I cannot believe he actually won.” Each had varying reasons for their decision but ultimately blamed the system for producing two unfavorable candidates. In an interview with GPB Wednesday morning, Qazi said, “If you’re one of the people like me and you can only vote for a candidate you truly believe in, then that candidate didn’t exist in this election cycle.”