By Andrew Brinker, Point Park News Service
Students woke up early this morning but not just to get to class. Instead, hundreds, maybe more than ever before, headed to the Epiphany Catholic Church in Downtown Pittsburgh, the designated polling place for those registered to vote on campus.
By early afternoon, the Catholic church was packed with voters. The line formed through the main voting area, and some students reported waiting for over an hour and a half.
Point Park students didn’t seem to mind the wait, though, as they excitedly anticipated the chance to make their voices heard. “Everybody has been posting about it and talking about it in classes about going out to vote,” said sophomore performance and practice major Seth Hanley. “This is the most excitement I’ve seen about anything political that isn’t, you know, negative.”
Voter excitement among students has been a popular theme this year, as voter registration numbers among those 18-25 are increasing nationwide. In 2018 alone, voter registration among Pennsylvanian youth has gone up by 10 percent, according to data gathered by the Washington, D.C.-based research firm TargetSmart.
The increased number is one thing to consider. Civic duty is another. “I mean people died for our right to vote,” said junior broadcast reporting major Lindsay Carson. “So, I think it’s important that we use that right, especially as young people since we’re the future of this country.”
While students expressed their excitement for heading to the polls and voting, many appeared to be “voting blue,” as material specifically in support of Democratic candidates was distributed outside of the polls, and many voters wearing Democratic merchandise could be spotted waiting in line.
In order for students to head to the polls, they had to have a way to get to the polls. As a part of this year’s student youth voter movement, Point Park students were provided with late shuttles to the polls that ran from 4 to 8 p.m., and a code for $20 of free credit for the transportation app Lyft.
A long afternoon for Point Park students left nothing except waiting for outcomes.
Election results began to roll in shortly after 8 o’clock. Point Park’s student-run U-View Television station hosted live election coverage in collaboration with the student-run radio station WPPJ and the Point Park News Service in the Center for Media Innovation to bring an end to election day 2018.