For weeks, students have been researching candidates, helping others register to vote and voting early and by mail. Election Day marked the end of the voting registration mania in the Pit students have experienced the past month.
An article from CNN shows a surge in young and first-time early voters. One graph shows that early voting among voters under 30 in Texas, Georgia, Nevada and New Jersey has nearly doubled since 2014.
Staff Writer Casey Quam spoke to UNC students about their voting experience.
Maria Rita Furtado
First-year student from New York City. Furtado is unable to vote because she is a permanent resident, not a citizen.
“I think a lot of people were pushing towards voting, like every time I’d walk across campus the past couple weeks, someone would shove a clipboard in my face and tell me to sign up to vote,” she said.
First-year pre-health policy management major from Raleigh
“I voted at home,” she said. “Voting itself was pretty easy, especially registering was pretty easy. I think personally I’m really interested in public policy, so I kind of took it upon myself to research everything.”
Fourth-year medical student from Mooresville, N.C.
“I’m a little bit off in my own world, but I did absentee voting. So, I’m rarely on campus. I went here for undergrad though and I was here the last time, so it’s definitely been more public, I guess,” he said.
He said it was easy to vote as an absentee.
“It took like two minutes to get the form, and then you have to fill it out and send it. I’m from near Charlotte, and it wasn’t too difficult.”
Sophomore communication studies and political science major. He was volunteering at The Chapel of the Cross Church — a voting location — on Election Day.
“I am the director of outreach for the College Republicans (at UNC), so it’s my job to try to get as many people to vote Republican as possible. I’ve been asking people if they’d be interested in looking at a conservative sample ballot, we’ve been talking about the amendments and candidates and that’s mostly what I’ve been doing. We’ve done a lot of voter registration on campus through nonpartisan groups, through civic engagement committees and student government, as kind of a means of taking away the partisan aspect of it,” he said.
Senior business administration major.Pickens attempted to vote at Chapel of the Cross, but realized it was not his precinct location.
“I got turned away. I was at the wrong precinct, so I just have to go down the road,” he said. “I live right down the road.”
In North Carolina, voters could vote at any one-stop absentee voting site in the county during early voting, but on Election Day, voters can only vote at their assigned precinct.