“Spirits were high at the local Teamsters post on Grant Street on Tuesday as students and locals mixed together to vote in one of the most important elections in the United States’ history. Three precincts gathered at the nondescript building, but lines were shorter than many had expected.””
Spirits were high at the local Teamsters post on Grant Street on Tuesday as students and locals mixed together to vote in one of the most important elections in the United States’ history.
Three precincts gathered at the nondescript building, but lines were shorter than many had expected.
Jon Allin, a poll worker stationed outside the front door, said that the crowd on Nov. 4 was much smaller than previous weeks, because of renewed use of early and absentee voting.
The whole process, from parking to exiting the front doors, took roughly 45 minutes.
A diverse mix of age, race and class filled the room as workers and volunteers checked identification and passed out paper ballots.
Mary Mingo, a 21 year-old resident of the nearby neighborhood, said that she was excited to vote in the critical election.
I want to make a difference, she said. When asked if she thought the election would bring about the change she wanted, she seemed anything but na’ve.
It’s not going to happen in a rush, but I’m hoping it’s going to change some things.
Mingo supported Issue 8, as did most of the polling center, because she plans to go to college this year. The only thing holding her back, like many would-be students, is money to pay tuition.
Many of the hundred or so in the Teamsters post openly supported Obama.
Jessica Lemely, a 19 year-old sophomore at UA, said she was not worried about the election because we already know who’s going to win.
Both women were first-time voters.
Perhaps President-Elect Obama’s greatest victory in this race was bringing the youth to the polls.
An estimated 22 to 24 million youth (ages 18 to 29) voted in this election, which is over 2 million more than in 2004.
Rock the Vote and other organizations worked harder than ever to draw young people to the polls.
We expected record turnout, and that is what we’re seeing right now, Rock the Vote spokeswoman Heather Smith said.
The youth also favored Obama to McCain by 68 percent to 30 percent. His youths tend to identify themselves as moderate to liberal.
In retrospect, had the election been closer, the youth might have won Obama the presidency.
Historically, young people have tended to vote democrat, but this unprecedented turnout has set a new tone for future American elections.