NYU Gets Out The Vote For New York Primary

This story was written by Rachel Smith, Washington Square News
On the biggest Super Tuesday ever -- involving 24 states -- New York University helped get out the vote.

Five NYU residence halls, including Hayden, Brittany, Third Avenue North, Carlyle Court and University served as official polling places. Campaign volunteers, many of them students, were sprinkled throughout Union Square, holding signs on street corners and urging subway riders to head to the polls.

Masha Williams, a CAS freshman, volunteered for Sen. Barack Obama's campaign through NYU Students for Barack Obama.

"We're trying to get people out there with signs so that people remember to vote," Williams said, with the senator's name written in black marker on her cheek.

Addie Brownlee, a Sen. Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer from Astoria, Queens, was equally excited about her candidate.

"Vote for Hillary!" she called to passing New Yorkers in Union Square, where she was holding signs with a dozen other volunteers.

Inside polling stations, minds were made up.

"I'm voting Obama '08 and I'm proud to say it," said Jennifer Yance, a CAS freshman who came to Carlyle to vote. "Personally I believe he is the only sincere candidate out there who can really bring America out of its currently terrible state."

Clinton supporters cited her experience as the key selling point of her campaign. Susan Sears, a real estate broker living in Greenwich Village, voted for Clinton.

"As much as I like Barack Obama, I would prefer to have someone in office who is more savvy about the way things work," Sears said.

Many people said they cast their votes for Democrats, there were some Republicans scattered in the blue crowd.

Chris Slager, a Stern freshman who grew up "around Mormons" in Salt Lake City, Utah, voted GOP at Hayden Hall. Though he wouldn't say who he voted for, he said that Mitt Romney is his "favorite Republican."

Amos Leslie, an election worker at Brittany Hall, said that turnout was higher than usual. But many voters said that the process went smoothly.

After years of discouraging political contests, Village resident Jim Miller said he was excited about the choices in the 2008 race.

"It's the first time in years that we've had more than one really strong candidate," said Miller, who voted at Third North. "It was a harder choice to make than I remember it being ever before."

Additional reporting by: Zainab Hasnain, Todd Sloves, Meridith Roy, Sean Gavin, Emma Davis
© 2008 Washington Square News via U-WIRE