The results are in, and the election is over.
Republicans swept the slate clean last night in Indiana, with wins in the Senate, governor, attorney general and superintendent.
And Republican Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States.
No more campaign ads. No more rallies. But it’s not all fun and games from here until the day the “newbies” are sworn into office.
In fact, it’s far from it.
Laura Albright, a University of Indianapolis political science professor, worked on a variety of campaigns early on in her career and offers firsthand experience for what it is candidate-elects spend their time doing following the election.
“All of the candidates relax, at least temporarily,” she said. “Regardless of what level, from the presidency all the way down to the school board, especially in American elections, our cycle is so long and takes so much energy, resources, everything.”
Albright said the moment after the election, victory or defeat, the candidate can exhale before they start the process of building their administration—back to work they go.
Randall Smith, a political science professor at Franklin, said these elected candidates must begin to develop ways to fulfill their promises made on the campaign trail, while also devising ways to prove to voters that they made the right choice.
“You have to really start getting your ducks in a row,” he said. “Yeah, sure you get to party for a little bit, but you have to turn that thing around. You have to realize you now have to cover.”
Referring to a book titled, “You Won, Now What?,” Smith said the author poses the question of where a candidate goes from election night.
“You’ve been promising all these things over here, but how are you going to implement them, make them work?” Smith said. “That becomes sort of the reality.”
But the candidates are the only people with duties following Election Day. Smith said students have a responsibility too.
He encourages students to visit reliable news sources daily to stay up-to-date with what is happening politically across the nation and to simply stay involved.
“18- to 25-year-olds are the lowest turnout age segment,” Smith said. “You go and many of you in the 18- to 25-year-old segment don’t vote and don’t pay attention to what happens after you vote. Then, what happens is that you get the bill. The war in Iraq? The war in Afghanistan? Guess who’s going to pay for that? Not me. That’s going to you guys.”
If more college students got involved and voiced their opinions through the ballot on Election Day, Smith said there could be a change.
Similarly, Albright said students can get involved in several ways following Election Day.
“The most important, of course if the candidate you voted for was elected, you probably feel quite good,” she said. “But it’s important to understand what is on the agenda.”
Following Tuesday night’s election results, Franklin College President Thomas Minar released a statement via a campus-wide email, calling on the campus community “to listen to each other, teach each other and open our hearts to learn about others.”
“We must remember that each of us looks at election results through very different and very personal lenses,” Minar said in his email. “Civility is the key. Franklin College strongly values its commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus environment. One that honors the dignity of self and others; demonstrates empathy, sincerity and openness; and most importantly, shows respect for all. Behavior violating these values will be addressed.”