Students gather to watch election results

Journalism freshman Nick Krueger keeps his eyes on the large TV screen in the First Amendment Forum at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as the polling results streamed on CNN’s live coverage of the presidential election late Tuesday evening. (Photo by Jessie Wardarski)

Dozens of students watched Tuesday night’s live election coverage in the First Amendment Forum at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on the Downtown campus.

Attendees shared popcorn and worked on their laptops while new results and projections came in.

Local elections in Arizona yielded important victories for Republican candidates, such as Jeff Flake for U.S. Senate and incumbent Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, while Democratic challengers Richard Carmona and Paul Penzone, respectively, fell short.

ASU’s Young Democrats focused on local races, helping in the competitive 18th Legislative District, which includes parts of Phoenix, Chandler and Tempe.

Despite the losses, political science junior Selianna Robles, president of the Young Democrats, said the group was optimistic Tuesday at the Hudson polling precinct.

“We’re hoping all these knocks (and) calls we did are going to be the deciding vote,” she said.

Math junior Renee Cloutier, a member of Young Democrats, said the goal was to get people to vote.

Robles and Cloutier set up printers at the location to help students whose addresses did not match their identification print proof of residency.

“We want to be positive students are able to vote,” Cloutier said.

Kinesiology junior Ryan Bruhns learned about the watch party at the Cronkite school through email and decided to attend to be around people who cared deeply about politics.

“It’s refreshing to be with those who are involved or at least willing to sacrifice their evening to watch the results,” he said.

Bruhns, who voted through an early ballot, considers himself to be a quiet observer of the political process.

“I don’t like to voice an opinion,” he said. “I would say I favor Romney.”

American people have a duty to vote, Bruhns said.

“It’s very important to exercise your right to vote, because the moment you fail to do, it is the moment they can take it away,” he said.

Journalism senior Mohamud Ali, who is from Somalia, holds a permanent residency card and hopes to become a citizen soon.

American politics is one of his passions, Ali said.

“I can’t wait to be able to vote,” he said.

Following the campaigns and watching the results is part of his civic duty, Ali said.

“This is one of the best democratic systems in the world,” he said. “I had to see how it played out.”

Journalism sophomore Tanner Buckler said he made a conscious decision not to vote.

After the debates and the news coverage of both candidates, Buckler was not convinced by either of them.

“It ended up as the lesser of two evils,” he said. “So I decided not to have a preference.”

Journalism freshman Anne Shearer decided to attend the watch party after becoming impatient while sitting in her Taylor Place dorm waiting for results.

Shearer wanted to be with other people who are interested in politics, she said.

Shearer, who is minoring in political science, worked closely with Andrei Cherny, one of the candidates of September’s primary elections.

“I recognize the huge impact this night had on my life,” she said. “It’s exciting to be here.”

Journalism freshman Miranda Vanhorn, who is Shearer’s roommate, plans to become a political reporter.

Vanhorn tried to vote earlier in the day but discovered she was registered with her old address.

“I am very upset, because I didn’t get to vote,” she said. “But it’s pretty cool to watch it unfold and to see all these people here.”

 

Reach the reporter at dpbaltaz@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @dpalomabp