Sun. May 26th, 2024

Image: News_PA_Election_1: “Pennsylvania Presidential Election Results 2020” by TylerKutschbach is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Via Creative Commons

On Tuesday, April 23, 2024, Pennsylvania residents, including students of West Chester University (WCU), made their way to the polls to cast their vote in the primary elections to determine the candidates for the 2024 presidential election. 

The primary elections are used to determine the candidates that will be running in the presidential election come November 5. The candidate with the most votes will be selected to run for president of the United States. According to, “Primaries are elections that political parties use to select candidates for a general election. Then, each party’s candidates run against each other in the general election.”

WCU students were given the chance to vote in the campus Rec Center, starting at 7 a.m. Students on campus expressed their anticipation for the election. “I was very excited to vote, as this is my very first time voting in the primaries for the presidential election,” said Nikki Anandan, a second-year public health major. 

The excitement pouring out from the younger generation shows a positive sign —  historically, United States citizens between the ages of 18 and 29 have been known to vote at a lower rate than older generations according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. A high percentage of Generation Z turnout could influence the presidential election due to Pennsylvania’s history of being a swing state, according to U.S. News. In short, the results of Pennsylvania will hold more importance than other states.

A swing state is a state that could change the course of the election; the state’s results play a key role in determining the winner, as stated by the U.S. News. Students voting more plays a huge role in elections as discusses how the influence of younger generations could change the trajectory of the next United States election. Pennsylvania has been a state to watch in previous elections, with a Republican win in 2016 and a Democratic win in 2020. 

Though excited to enact their civic duty, some students felt the election wasn’t marketed to the younger generation nearly as much as it could have been. According to USA Today, the voter turnout for primary polls in Pennsylvania was less than 30 percent — a major decrease. With such an important election on the way, students expressed frustration with the minimal emphasis and lack of turnout on the primary election. 

“I was also excited because this was my first presidential cycle,” said Josh Eng, a second-year history education major. “But the lack of student engagement with voting did upset me as this primary election had much potential for our future.” 

It is anticipated that the presidential candidates will be a rematch of the 2020 election: current President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Multiple other candidates are also on the ballot. Considering Pennsylvania’s swing history, Greater Philadelphia should be an area to watch — including Chester County.

For more voting information, including voting on campus, voting for out-of-state students and how to apply for a mail-in ballot, visit WCU votes. General elections will take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2024. 


Olivia Karczewski is a second-year media and culture major, with a journalism minor.

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