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Politics & Government
Election news from across Utah's statewide and national races in 2020.

‘Our Whole Democracy Is On The Line’: How One Democrat Registered As Republican Feels About This Election

A graphic and photo of Jennifer MacAdam.
Renee Bright
/
KUER
Jennifer MacAdam has been registered as a Republican for 10 years, but she’s a Democrat through and through. She said she switched her party affiliation so she could have some say in who gets elected in Utah.

There are a lot of races on the ballot for the November election — and a lot of issues that may impact the way people vote. This week, KUER is bringing you profiles of voters from across Utah to see what’s on their mind as they look toward the election.

Name:Age:Race:
Jennifer MacAdam “Definitely a senior citizen” White
Lives in:Occupation:Registered party:
River Heights, Cache CountyProfessor of plant physiology at Utah State UniversityRepublican

How do you describe yourself politically?

I’ve never been a Republican, ever. Furthest thing — I’m a yellow-dog Democrat. But at some point it just dawned on me that it was pointless to vote in a Democratic primary [in Utah], and that if I’m a registered Republican, I can still vote for a Democrat in the [general] election.

I would call myself extremely progressive, liberal. I have never, ever seen any justification for voting for a Republican for president.

What issues matter most to you this election?

I just think our whole democracy is on the line.

How has the pandemic impacted how you’re evaluating candidates?

I guess it has made me realize that the approach to the pandemic has been an example of why climate change hasn't moved and why immigration is a mess.

But in terms of how it affects the election, I think there's just one sane choice and one insane choice. The pandemic won't be better, but everything else will get far worse as quickly as possible. I think we're headed to a fascist regime. I think the shocking thing has been how many people are willing to throw in with [President Donald] Trump and just get on the bandwagon and stay on it regardless.

Are you feeling more optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the country?

I think pessimistic is too mild a term. I'm really terrified because I think what Trump has done, he's illustrated all the weaknesses of the system that we have now.

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