UNC Young Democrats threw an early voting party Thursday with music, face painting, cookies for change"" pumpkin painting, a doughnut-eating contest and celebrities.
Students gathered at Morehead Planetarium for Baracktoberfest" a celebration of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and the last days of early voting.
Poll workers praised the number of students who already turned out.
It stays busy until four o'clock" poll worker Karen Tinker said. The students are tremendous.""
The event's main attraction was the appearance of Golden Globe-nominated actress Ashley Judd and vice presidential candidate Joe Biden's sister"" Valerie Biden Owens.
""My job is to talk about how great my brother is" but this is so much more than that. We are electing the leader of the free world" said Biden Owens. Obama and Biden have the same understanding and can feel in their bones what people are feeling today.""
Sophomore Faye Fang had already voted"" but said she came out to hear the speeches.
""I thought it'd be a great opportunity to get out here and see what Valerie Biden had to say about her brother"" Fang said.
Judd, a University of Kentucky alumna and avid basketball fan, made a bold pledge.
You give North Carolina to Biden and Obama"" and I will sit in the Tar Heel student section.""
Judd described voting for the first time as a ""rite of passage — a sacred moment in a person's citizenship"" and chanted Yes we can"" with students before leaving.
CHiPS" UNC's improv comedy troupe performed sketches. One gave students voting advice" fielding questions from the audience on policy issues and answering them as different stereotypical voters.
""I think all the activities affect the people who thought about (voting) but have not gotten out there yet" said sophomore Kevin Ziechmann.
Sophomore and Young Democrats member Caroline Hampton said students' voting patterns will be important on Election Day.
Students can be unreliable and this is an election that we cannot afford to be unreliable" she said.
We really need their votes.""
However"" Judd did not seem worried.
""I got the sense that (UNC students) are very keen and attentive — and they have the desire to do the right thing"" Judd said.
Other events this weekend
N.C. ROCKS FOR CHANGE
Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Location: Graham Memorial Terrace
MAMAS FOR OBAMA
Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Location: Southern Village Green
Staff writer Tarini Parti contributed reporting.
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