Students Hit the Voting Booth in Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pa. — For hundreds of college students across this city, voting is an exercise in multitasking.
Students read, work on crossword and Sudoku puzzles, text-message and email on hand-held devices and listen to music as they wait up to an hour to cast their first votes in a presidential election.
While there were enough working voting machines in polling stations at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, there was a shortage of poll workers to process the hundreds of first-time voters.
Still, the majority of students remained in good humor. “I’m more excited for the process as a whole than as an individual,” said Jeremy Springman, a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, who said she was voting for Sen. Barack Obama. “I’ll wait, everyone seems to be chilling.”
At the Pittsburgh campus, former Pittsburgh Steeler great Franco Harris — whom few students probably recognized — visited the polling place and urged students to stick out the long wait.
At Central Catholic High School, which is near Carnegie Mellon University’s campus, students waited, without complaint, for 75 minutes to cast their votes. Obama campaign volunteers handed out bottles of water and encouraged them to stay in line. More poll workers arrived in mid-afternoon, which cut waiting time to about 30 minutes. Obama campaign organizers said they expected a crush of students after classes end.
Dorian Adeyemi, 20, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, said the long lines were “a testament to how exciting people are to vote,” adding that he made up his mind last night to vote for Sen. John McCain because of his views on economic policy.