First-time voters withstand lines to cast ballots

Students felt that in the end, this new experience was worth the wait.

After nearly two years of listening to political campaigns and months of hearing, “Are you registered to vote,” it all came down to students who were eagerly anticipating to exercise their rights to vote and make a difference.

The one phrase, “go voTe,” was seen on fliers, leaflets, sidewalks, facebook statuses and students’ apparel. Signs were posted in front of residence halls, informing students about the locations of their respective polling stations.

“We’re making sure that there is no excuse that people cannot vote. There really shouldn’t be,” said Emily Kaufman, a freshman from the University of Delaware and member of Philadelphia for Obama.

She, along with 175 other members, helped students at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and Temple find their polling destinations and answered any questions they may have had. After boarding a bus that left Delaware at 10 a.m., she arrived at Temple and was stationed outside of 1940 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Making sure students voted was important because voters between the ages of 18 and 24 typically have the smallest turnout. However, according to the Rock the Vote Web site, young voters more than doubled their turnout during the primaries.

Ryan Schoening, a freshman theater major, said he woke up at 6:15 a.m. to get at the polls before they opened at 7 a.m.

He wanted to skip class, but he “went to class and just slept through the majority of it.”

The lines at polling places varied depending on where and when students went to vote.

Megan Taylor, a university studies major, went to her polling place after noon. She said she waited in line for no more than five minutes.

“Voting for the first time was really exciting. We are making history,” Taylor said.

Other voters weren’t as lucky.

Freshman marketing major Jonathan Heberlig arrived in line at the Dendy Recreation Center at 7 a.m. and waited so long that he missed an 8:40 class.

“I waited three hours to vote,” Heberlig said. “But it was so worth it.”

Matthew Petrillo can be reached at

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