by Adam Tucker, Staff Writer
Photo Credit, Jarred Gastreich
Students and Neighbors Pick Next Possible US President
She waited to vote for over two hours yesterday. A registration problem forced Maraela Vargas to travel to three different polling locations to cast a single vote. Her ballot was then rejected five times from undervoting causing her to almost completely give up and go home. On the sixth try her ballot was accepted, her voice was heard. Vargas was inspired to vote yesterday after her brother in the Dominican Republic – who suffers from ALS, called her and convinced her to vote. She said if he was able to do it under his circumstances, then she would have no excuse either. “When you don’t vote, you won’t be a part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” said Vargas.
Vargas, like many others from the 46th ward came to Truman yesterday to vote in the Illinois primary. Voters casted their vote on a single candidate to represent their political party in the general election this November. They also voted for local positions ranging from a seat in the State Senate to State’s Attorney. The polls opened at 6am and closed at 7pm bringing first time voters and political junkies together, all with different motivations for voting. Poll watcher Leila Raab said she witnessed a Vietnamese woman become a first time voter after enlisting help from a translator found on campus.
First time Illinois voter and Truman student Alexis Hartig both registered and voted on the same day. “I feel like we are in a moment in time where people need to pay attention.” Other students like Enida Moore opted to not vote at all saying, “Votes don’t matter. The government is going to choose who they want anyway.”
Some voters like Frank Ativie, go beyond just voting by campaigning in front of his polling place for a candidate. “If I don’t campaign, maybe my candidate won’t be re-elected,” said Ativie. After the polls closed Ativie said he was excited to watch the results come in at his candidates’ victory party.
Some voters preferred candidates that placed first at the end of the night, while others fell by the wayside. All those that participated still enjoyed the process. “I came for the popcorn and stayed for the politics!” said Hartig.