Morning Turnout Shows Voter Surge in Dozens of Youth Dense Precincts Across the Country
Reports just in from dozens of youth dense precincts across the country including those in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan indicate that young voters are flooding the polls despite long lines and logistical obstacles.
As of 12:00pm at Drexel University in Philadelphia, 395 people have voted and 179 people were in line, a total of 574 people. In 2004, a total of 425 people voted in the same precinct. This is a strong early indicator of high turnout, already exceeding young voter turnout levels from 2004.
Young people in State College, Pennsylvania at Penn State University are reporting more than 1,000 students in line to vote at Penn State. See photos of voters in line here: http://www.rockthevote.org/electionday
“Early tallies in youth dense precincts indicate that young people are taking their enthusiasm to the ballot box,” said Heather Smith, the Executive Director of Rock the Vote. “Get Out the Vote efforts across the country, on the ground, and through mobile and online technology are bolstering the turnout we are seeing particularly in Virginia and Pennsylvania this morning.”
Young adults are also facing obstacles in trying to vote today. More than 5,600 people, mainly Virginia Tech students, are registered to vote at precinct E1 in Blacksburg, Virginia (Montgomery County). That number is nearly double what the state law allows for polling stations and the lack of an additional polling station is causing substantial delays. In addition, the polling place is 6.5 miles away from campus at a tiny church located off the main road. There is no street sign marking the turn off to the one lane road. There are 30 parking spots for the thousands of voters expected to turn up at precinct E1. This problem is one of many student voters have faced in Blacksburg during this election.
Despite these obstacles, young adults are organizing their peers to get to the polls and arriving today to the polling place in large numbers, according to those on the ground.
“The long lines in Blacksburg are filled with excited new and young voters, many Virginia Tech students,” said Rock the Vote’s Amanda Eckerson, on site in Virginia today. “Today we are seeing young people in Virginia and across the country casting ballots despite poor logistical planning, long lines and bad weather.”
Visit www.rockthevote.org for voter stories from Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Stay Tuned: At 2:30 pm EST Rock the Vote will be releasing precinct totals from youth dense precincts across the country.