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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

    Editorial Cartoon: The good old days

    Our View


    The two polling locations closest to campus experienced an increase in voter turnout during Tuesday’s election.


    While we’re excited that more students showed up to vote, we’re also glad that the polls were operated more efficiently too.

    The anticipation was certainly high. Would the United States see its first black president, or its first female vice president?

    The 2008 presidential election made American history. Because of this, considerably more people registered and voted on Tuesday. Student Executive Vice President Eric Wilber worked at precincts 16 and 17 at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union and said that while it was busy for a while, everything ran smoothly.

    Therefore, kudos goes out to both the election commission for making huge procedural advancements and to the students who took the time to get out and participate in this democracy.

    At precinct 17, which included registered voters from Greek Court, University Court, Carman, Lawson and Andrews halls, Wilber said 719 of 1,200 registered students voted. These numbers do not include absentee and early votes.

    As for precinct 16, which included registered voters from Pemberton, the Triad, Thomas and Taylor halls, 77 percent of registered voters showed up and cast their vote Tuesday (this also does not include early or absentee votes).

    Even with the incredible turnout, no one experienced a long line and everything went smoothly, Wilber said. He said last election, people had to wait in long lines for hours, some only to discover they were at the incorrect precinct.

    This year, voters were directed to volunteers who told them whether they were at the right precinct before having to wait in a line for anything. From there, voters were then directed to the correct table where they could sign in and receive a certificate of voter registration.

    Wilber said he’d volunteer to work a precinct again. “It was a long day, but it was fun,” he said.

    Another student polling hotspot was at precincts 14, 15, 18 and 19 at the Newman Catholic Center. This is election volunteer veteran June Giffin’s post. She has been volunteering since the 1950s and she said this year’s election (even with the surge of voters) went a lot more smoothly than it has in the past. Again, this was attributed to better organization.

    Having someone whose sole duty was to direct voters to where they are supposed to go kept the lines – and confusion – to a minimum. Giffin also said the organization of how the precinct tables were set up this year made a big difference.

    “They used to be set up in a circle,” she said. This year, the four precincts were more distinctly quartered off and it made things easier to find.

    Giffin’s only complaint about this year’s election was that TSx electronic voting machines are difficult to operate. One machine even broke down and it was difficult to extract the memory card and count up the votes.

    Other than that, polling went more smoothly than last election. “I’ve never had so many people come through,” Giffin said.

    She said more than 2,000 voters went through the Newman Catholic Center; twice as many as last election. The ballot machines aside, Giffin and Wilber said they couldn’t think of anything they would change for the next election.

      Editorial Cartoon: The good old days


      (Drawn from the news/Yotam Zohar)


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