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Campus early voting ends approaching Election Day

Maricopa County  provided an early voting station at the Palo Verde West dorms. (Photo by Murphy Bannerman)
Maricopa County provided an early voting station at the Palo Verde West dorms. (Photo by Murphy Bannerman)

Maricopa County provided an early voting station at the Palo Verde West Residence Hall. (Photo by Murphy Bannerman)

Students sat with their laptops open and pens ready, filling out their ballots Friday afternoon at the Tempe campus’s early polling location at the Palo Verde West Residence Hall.

Early voting polls closed their doors Friday after being open since Oct. 11.

First-time voter Samantha Contreras, an English freshman, said she chose to vote early because it was a convenient way to avoid Tuesday’s lines.

Contreras said she was excited to cast her first ballot and developed her political opinions by watching the presidential debates and independently researching issues.

Contreras said voting is her way of influencing the government.

“Regardless of how many people are voting with you, you still have your say,” Contreras said. “It’s a way for me to try to put my input in the government and hope I can my make my own little difference.”

Computer science freshman Jason Symmes, who also cast his vote Friday afternoon, said he chose the Palo Verde location because of the convenience.

He said he also decided whom he would vote for by watching the presidential debates.

“If you don’t vote, you don’t really have a say in what happens, so you don’t get to complain,” Symmes said. “You’re not a part of it.”

He said he would like to see ASU have a polling place on the Tempe campus again during the next election.

While the exact number of people who voted at the ASU location is not yet released, poll workers said the location had been quite busy.

Arizona Republic political writer Robert Robb, who spoke at an event on the Tempe campus Thursday night, said about 45 percent of votes in Arizona are cast early.

“Arizona is an early ballot state,” Robb said.

In 2010, the early polling location in Palo Verde West had the fourth highest turnout in Maricopa County, according to the Undergraduate Student Government website.

USG partnered with Maricopa County to fund and oversee the polling place, the website said.

Maricopa County Recorder’s Office spokeswoman Yvonne Reed said the office set up the early polling place at ASU’s request.

“We’ve always tried to accommodate ASU students,” Reed said.


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