Will thousands of new voters gum up voting process?

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By Tanya Pecorari

The 2008 presidential election is finally closing in today with a record high of 8.75 million Pennsylvanian registered to vote. One question that arises for young Bloomsburg University student Jared Ferreira is whether this increase in new registrations will cause major problems.  There are 9,300 polling places located all over Pennsylvania on Election Day, which is about the same number as there was during the last election.

“I have been watching the news and reading online that we are not prepared for the increase in voters and that it will take longer to get in and out,” Ferreira said.

With 713,000 new voters in Pennsylvania this year, statistics show that state officials should have increased the amount of polling places.  “As a busy student athlete, I do not have much time to go and wait in a three hour line at the Kehr Union,“  said Ferreira. Young voters between the ages of 18-34 make up 27 percent of the electorate in Pennsylvania but with voter lines being longer and taking more time, many people are stressing if they have time to vote in between classes or work. 

                This could easily affect the outcome of who wins this presidential election.  Even though we do have the highest turn about this year with Pennsylvanian voters, the risk of being late to work or class could get in the way of voting.  “The state has known that more voters have registered so they should have realized that they need to add more polling places.  If I have to choose between voting and going to class or practice, I am going to have to pick going to class or practice,” said Ferreira.

                This may be the case for some students, but for Bloomsburg University student Krista Owsley, this will not be a problem.  “This is our future, and if I have to wait in line for three hours to help decide who will run our country, I will.  My teachers will just have to understand that this presidential election is important to me.”  Hopefully many students like Krista Owsley will take the time to come out and vote, and quite possibly be apart in one of the closest U.S. presidential elections in history. 

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