Young Voters Share Their Stories [LIVE UPDATES]
Tuesday, 9:21 P.M.
Early Voting 'Anticlimactic, But At Least It Will Count'
Dawnthea Price writes in North by Northwestern, a student publication at Northwestern University and member of the Campus Progress journalism network:
There are an awful lot of rules to voting absentee, like not being able to tell anyone how I vote and requiring a witness to sign the little envelope the ballot goes into before being stuck in a slightly larger envelope for the mail. Reading the rules, signing everything and finding a pencil to fill in the ballot – it was Scantron, who knew? – took much longer than the thirty seconds necessary to fill out the whole ballot.
Walking up from the basement took more time than filling out the ballot. Making tea too longer than filling out the ballot. See what I meant by ludicrously simple?
Several of my friends have opted to vote with their conscience for third party candidates. Many others decided that their vote would not mean a thing here or in their home state and plan to avoid the polls on Tuesday. Two Thursdays ago, I dropped the envelope with my ballot into the mailbox outside of Lulu’s on Sherman Avenue while running errands. By now, I should be one of more than 250 thousand voters from my home state out of over 19 million early voters (including President Obama). It was anticlimactic, but at least it will count.
Tuesday, 9:05 P.M.
College Students Being Turned Away In Philly
Two Temple University students from Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group who are stationed at a polling location at 16th Street and Berks in Philadelphia told ThinkProgress that as many as 70 of their fellow classmates have been forced to vote on provisional ballots after a flood of last minute registrations failed to end up in the state’s voter rolls.
Carolyn Perri and Alaura Knoble recorded five students who were not allowed to vote using a regular ballot in the hour that they had been stationed at this polling location. “When I was voting, I personally witnessed someone get turned away,” said Knoble.
Tuesday, 5:47 P.M.
'I'll Accept That Challenge'
Tara, a DC voter, woke up extra early today to vote, and found that she wasn't the only young person out there:
I've read a lot of Facebook posts today bemoaning the general old age of poll workers, blaming the chaotic nature of voting lines to the poll workers' geriatric sensibilities. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to see that the ballot clerk attending my touch-screen voting machine was a young, hip twenty-something in skinny jeans and tortoise shell glasses. I asked her if she was put on the touch-screen machine because she was the youngest one there and we laughed. She said that she had simply Googled "how to become a poll worker" a few weeks ago and applied to volunteer her time. I smiled.
Katherine Goldstein at Slate seems to think the old folks are to blame, too.
I'll accept that challenge.
Tuesday, 5:25 P.M.
'The Act Of Voting Is Special, The Wait For It Is Priceless'
Russell, a young voter in New York, voted in person today. He shares his experience with us:
Today I went to vote for the second time in my life. I voted in the 2008 election, via an absentee ballot, so the thrill was short lived, the winner, an obvious newcomer. Today, I was lucky to wait in line at an elementary school gym and like my parents before me, it was a long wait. A badge of honor—no, not that "I Voted" sticker (which by the way, they didn't give out even after I stared at them longingly for one)—was how I viewed my chance to stand in that line. The act of voting is special, the wait for it is priceless.
For months we have heard rhetoric, from the horse's mouth (both of them) and the media, but at this moment, it was all gone, its up to you and that scantron ballot (remember, from high school?). Well, I don't know if there is a point, but the world will be the same for most of us tomorrow, vastly different for others, but as long as you waited in that line, and filled in those circles, you've done everything asked of you. I don't know about you, but I felt pretty big.
Tuesday, 4:17 A.M.
'I Was Number 10 At My Polling Place!'
Derek, a young voter in New Jersey, proves that the early bird gets the worm:
I went to vote and when I arrived I found out that I had to go to another location to cast my ballot. No hassles though, it was right around the corner. I especially made sure that I got up and early to vote—I was number 10 at my polling place! Great experience overall, no hassles or problems.
Tuesday, 12:14 P.M.
Ellen, a young voter, emails Campus Progress about her emotional Election Day:
"literally phonebanking right now with tears in my eyes. about this election, democracy, Ohio, etc etc etc!!! HOT MESSS!!!"
Tuesday, 9:32 A.M.
Nina Bhattacharya, a former editor of a Campus Progress journalism network publication, writes in about her expierence voting from abroad:
Since my first election in 2008, I have always been a proud absentee voter. More than that, most of my past elections were spent on the phones or knocking doors. After receiving a Fulbright fellowship to teach in Indonesia this year, I knew I had to navigate the sometimes complicated process of international absentee voting.
Voting absentee from another country is no easy task. It requires time and tenacity. I applied for my Michigan ballot at the beginning of September and submitted it in October. Fortunately, I live in a state that could email the ballot to me. And fortunately, I work at a school where I have the rare access to a working printing and Internet. I think the work I put into getting and sending my ballot helped me appreciate the value of voting. It reminded me why it counts.
What was most touching about the experience was my Indonesian colleagues went above and beyond in helping me with the process. They helped me find a scanner so I could submit my ballot request form. They cheered as I voted at my desk. They took time out of their schedules to make the very long drive to U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya so I could submit my ballot with the confidence it would get back to the United States.
This 2012 election has gone down as the most memorable yet.
Throughout Election Day, we'll be sharing stories from young voters here. Want to tell us about your experience voting? Great, let us know here.
- With No Clear Trend in Youth Vote, A Challenge Awaits Progressives
- Why State Support for Marriage Equality Is Gaining Momentum
- Missouri’s New Gun Law Criminalizes Federal Officers for Doing Job, Pushes Guns into Schools
- #AskCP Twitter Chat Tells All On Guns, Immigration, And What It Takes To Work At Campus Progress
- How Senate Republicans Plan to Fix Student Loans