At roughly 12.30am today, the most relieved students who spilled out onto Columbia University’s campus and the surrounding streets of Broadway and Amsterdam were probably not the staunch supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. They were the university’s journalism students who had just completed their most ambitious project yet: extensive multimedia coverage of the U.S. presidential election.
Curtis High School in Staten Island hosts voters from the 18th, 19th and 20th electoral districts. Photo: Jackie Bischof
Gloria Smith is having a long day.
She woke up shortly after 4 a.m. to arrive at Curtis High School near the north shore of Staten Island by 5:30 a.m. By 11 a.m., she’s had her eye on the hundreds of voters that have already streamed through the door of the school. She’ll be spending her whole day there, answering questions from nervous first-time voters, directing the queues of impatient people, doing her job as a Democratic Party poll watcher.
She is not looking forward to this evening’s after-work rush, but was buoyed by the early morning voter turnout.
“It was amazing to see how many people came out and voted so early. I feel wonderful,” she said. “People feel like they are taking part in progress and they’re energized.”
The University of Scranton's commond grounds BISCHOF/BALLOT BOX 08
They may disagree on abortion, the foreign experience of Barack Obama, the suitability of Sarah Palin and the health care plans put forward by the two candidates, but Scranton University students all agree on one thing: they care about the 2008 presidential elections.
Students were recently upset by the findings of The Princeton Review which, despite naming it one of the best colleges in America, listed it as the number one politically apathetic university in the States in its “Election? What Election?” rankings.
Listen to the President of the University of Scranton’s student government, Joe Quinn, talk about why he’s still undecided in this election.
SCRANTON, 8.07pm – Luis and I rolled into Scranton, Pennsylvania last night and walked straight into the a surprisingly politically diverse bar at the Veterans of Foreign Wars club in Clarks Summit, ten minutes outside of the Electric City.
Some of the VFW regulars are undecided. Of the three people I interviewed, each had a personal connection to their decision.
Robin Ennis is a 35-year-old unemployed cook who lives in Clarks Summit and was a member of the Navy, serving two tours in the Mediterannean.
He hasn’t spoken to his sister, a member of the Air Force, in almost three years. Why? Because she married a fellow Air Force Member who is black. They live in Washington D.C. and have three children.
Ennis has never voted, but this year he says he will. He’s voting for Obama.