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Election Officials in Oakland See High Turnout

By Mick Stinelli, Point Park News Service

Reports of high voter turnout continued in Oakland where election officials at St. Regis saw over 450 voters of all ages by 4 p.m.

Kathy Boykowycz, who’s worked the polls in South Oakland for over 20 years, said at 3:30 this afternoon that 223 people at arrived at her polling location at in Pittsburgh’s 4th precinct. She and other poll workers at the location said it was rare to see even 100 people show up on a midterm year.

“It’s a good indication of enthusiasm among students,” Boykowycz said, because of the high student population in the neighborhood.

Officials at the adjacent polling location, located in the same church basement, said they already had 236 people arrive to vote, up from the 180 voters at the close of this year’s primary elections.

Voter Keith Hayden, 64, said he was feeling good entering the voting booth today.

“I always feel good when I vote. I take it as a responsibility,” Hayden said.

He said he’s taken issue with President Donald Trump’s tone over the past two years, and he was hoping to see big turnout from millennials during this election. He’s also looking forward to a big showing from the Democrats.

“I’m hoping to see a huge blue wave, even bigger than anticipated,” he said.

Ben Hoover, 20, said he was more excited to vote this year than he was for the 2016 presidential election.

Hoover said that though he isn’t a political person, he was hoping to see candidates focused on social issues, and “to see some new faces in seats.”

A University of Pittsburgh student, Hoover said a lot of his friends had already voted today. When his classes finally ended and he had the chance to vote, he said to himself, “Alright, here it is. It’s happening.”

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