On Nov. 6, I waited in line for an hour to vote.
I’ve voted before in my hometown of Reading, PA., but this was my first time voting on West Chester University campus. I’ve never seen so many people out to vote before.
When I realized how long the line was, I assumed that people would give up on waiting to vote and just leave. However, the entire time I waited in line, I didn’t see a single person leave. I did hear people talking to each other about how frustrating the long line was, but no one was ready to give up.
So many people went to vote at Lawrence that the election workers ran out of “I voted!” stickers by the time I voted, around 2 p.m. This election, young voter turnout was up from the last midterm election, according to early estimates and exit polls by the New York Times.
I noticed a lot of encouragement to vote this year. Celebrities like Ariana Grande, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Rihanna and Beyoncé encouraged voters through social media. According to vote.org, voter registration spiked after Taylor Swift used her platform on Instagram to encourage her followers to vote. Oprah, Will Ferrell and Michael B. Jordan went door-to-door campaigning. Social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube encouraged their users to go out and vote as well.
Along with the national urge for Americans to vote, West Chester University locals encouraged students to vote as well. Leading up to the deadline to register to vote, volunteers helped students register outside of Sykes Student Union. On election day, the Student Government Association (SGA)handed out pins and lollipops to voters in Lawrence. As for students living on south campus, they were offered free limousine rides to their polling station. Personally, I think these methods were effective; I saw a lot of students around campus wearing their SGA pins or posting about the limousine rides on Snapchat.
Professors at West Chester University urged their students to vote. The night before Election Day, Professor Randall Cream sent out an email to students offering extra credit to those who sent a picture of them voting. Other professors of mine encouraged students to vote as well, canceling class or offering a chance to come late to class in order to take the time to vote.
In my hometown, I’ve never seen any type of local encouragement to vote before, and I’ve never seen long lines of dedicated young voters.
Alexis Lincoln is a second-year student English Writings major, minoring in Journalism. AL892562@wcupa.edu