On Nov. 8, Americans flocked to the polling centers, and WSU students were no exception.
With the looming stereotype that young people don’t vote, WSU students were faced with a choice to either confirm or deny that stereotype. Seventy-five students were interviewed on Tuesday and asked if they had voted. They were also asked if they voted in person or by mail-in ballot. Those who did not vote were asked why they did not vote.
Of the 75 interviewed, only 28 percent reported they would not be voting this election cycle. Breanna Corp, WSU Freshman, said, “I didn’t vote because I wasn’t sure if I could register here, so I didn’t get registered in time.” Corp was not alone in this sentiment, as 66 percent of students who said they were not voting cited the exact same reason.
Morgan Allaband, WSU senior, said, “I’m not voting because I don’t know enough about politics to vote.” Another reason some WSU students chose not to weigh in on the elections was due to their busy schedules. Kim Harper said, “I don’t know if I can vote; I just don’t have time to wait in the lines.”
Karen Wright, poll manager of the Dee Event Center, located just south of WSU main campus, was pleased with the student turn out. “We have served about 100 voters per hour at this location,” Wright said. Wright also debunked the long-line myth, saying, “Our longest wait time is 52 minuets, and we average about 15 minutes of wait time.”
This year’s voting system was not without its challenges. “Many students don’t know what documentation they need to vote, so they just come in with their student ID card.” In order to vote, both a picture ID and a documentation showing proof of address are required. WSU student ID’s don’t have addresses printed on them.
Wright explained that many students living in dorms don’t receive any bills or bank statements that reflect their dorm address. This makes it difficult for those students to vote. To solve that problem, Wright stated, “This year we cleared it with the state that if students could go on their eWeber portal and prove to us they are residing on the campus, then they are allowed to vote.”
Wright claims the biggest obstacle for the Dee Events Center polling location this year was that “Students don’t know that they could use the portal as proof of residence. It wasn’t advertised anywhere.”
Despite its challenges, many WSU students made it to the ballot box. Of the 75 WSU students interviewed, 72 percent reported they had already voted.
Clayton Brown, a WSU Freshman, was impressed with how easy the process was. He said, “I only waited in line for about five minutes to cast my ballot.”
Lacy Rodriguez, a WSU Freshman, stated, “I voted to honor my family, being of Hispanic background, a lot of people can’t vote because they aren’t prepared, so those of us who are should be their voice for them.”