By Anastazja Kolodziej
For the past several months, people have been posting on social media about the 2018 midterm elections. Most of these posts had the same message: vote.
On Election Day, Nov. 6, the trend continued.
“Vote the change you want to see in the world,” read a post on a user’s Instagram story.
“Vote as if the future DEPENDS on it. IT DOES,” another person posted.
On the University of Maryland campus, students could read a tweet telling them to vote on their phone, and then look up to see the same message written on a building. Tawes Hall encouraged people to “vote,” while Queen Anne’s Hall requested, in pink chalk, that students “vote Ben.”
“I definitely felt like there was a presence on campus like I saw more people posting about it,” Erin Koppel said, in reference to the atmosphere on campus prior to the 2016 election. The 2016 general election was the senior psychology major’s first time voting.
Despite all the activity on social media, under 200 people had voted at the polling location at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union by 11 a.m., four hours after voting had begun.
“It’s pretty crappy outside. I imagine a lot of people don’t want to go outside right now, it’s really bad rain,” Nisha Grannor, a junior food science major, said. One of her professors had canceled class to allow students to vote, so she headed to the polls after her morning class ended.
Tamier Barrett, a junior criminal justice and psychology major, also went to vote after class in the morning.
“If I didn’t have class, I would’ve still voted, but it was easier for me because I was already up and out,” Barrett said. “But I’d imagine people who don’t really have much to do today just sitting in bed all day and letting the day go by.”
Barrett, a Maryland native, researched the candidates before voting because the results in Maryland would affect her personally.
“I live here and I see all the money that’s being taken out and I don’t really see the changes that are being put into the community, so that was really important to me,” she said.
By the afternoon, the rain had stopped, and by 6 p.m., close to 1,000 students had voted. Tiffany Ohr, a senior biology major, went to the polling location at Stamp in the evening after her classes ended. The process of waiting in line and voting took over an hour, she said.
“There was actually a lot of people and there were people who came in after I was in line. There are still a lot of people in the room and it’s already like 6, 7 o’clock,” Ohr said.
The most important vote of the night was for governor, Ohr said. She voted for Ben Jealous.
“I looked online and I support what he wants for Maryland. I just don’t really like Larry Hogan as much,” Ohr said.
Outside, it had already gotten dark. Ohr walked down the stairs and left Stamp, passing by a puddle on the ground and a sea of signs stuck in the grass endorsing various candidates.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Sara Karlovitch/ Bloc Editor
Anastazja Kolodziej is a sophomore journalism and classics major and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.