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Students, Evanston residents vote at Northwestern polling locations

Meghan White/Daily Senior Staffer

Bryant Smith (WCAS and Bienen '12) casts his vote Tuesday afternoon in Parkes Hall. Northwestern students and Evanston residents alike came to the on-campus polling center to submit their ballots for the election.

Paulina Firozi, Campus Editor

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Northwestern students, staff and Evanston community members trickled into Parkes Hall and Patten Gym’s polling locations throughout Election Day.

Four touch-screen voting booths, two seated booths and 10 standing booths were set up in a room for voters in Parkes. By 7:30 p.m., 301 voters had come to the Parkes polling location. Election judges from the Cook County Clerk’s Office were present to facilitate the voting process at Parkes and Patten Gym, another campus location that served as a polling place on Tuesday.

The Parkes location was fairly empty throughout the day, with Evanston residents filing into the room but never waiting in line.

Stephanie Irish, an election judge present at Parkes, said 187 Evanston residents, many of whom were NU students, had voted as of 2:30 p.m.

“Many students came in before work and before class around 8 a.m,” Irish said.

Weinberg freshman Mark Davis said it was his first time voting and he had decided to apply for in-state residency. As a part of a military family, he said he has moved around a lot and most recently lived in Germany.

“It was a lot faster than I thought it would be,” Davis said. “I voted early before classes to get it out of the way. The people were really helpful and made it self-explanatory.”

In Cook County, 60 judges are up for retention. Davis said he looked into every judge before going into the polls.

“I researched the judges before I voted because I wanted to be an Informed voter even if I just moved here,” he said.

Mike Hernandez also applied as an in-state resident, although he is originally from Pennsylvania. He said he thought it would be more convenient to vote at a polling location as opposed to by mail.

Like Davis, Hernandez said he voted early Tuesday before classes.

“I went to Parkes Hall around 7:45 a.m. and I didn’t have to wait at all,” the Weinberg senior said.

Hernandez said his hopes to go to medical school contributed to his reason for voting. He said health care reform was a topic of interest for him throughout the election.

“I went out and decided to cast my vote and have my voice heard,” he said.

Zach Elvove contributed reporting.