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Today is the day for first-time voters

By VERONICA WILSON
DCN Correspondent

After a lifetime of waiting, first-time voters headed to the UMD Kirby Ballroom to cast their ballots. Some students were sure of their decision but others had a tougher time making a choice.

UMD student Brian Leidner made his decision mostly by watching news coverage on television.

“I decided two days ago,? Leidner said.

With the media being one source of voter information, visits from politicians to UMD also had an influence.

“Al Franken changed my vote. I was going to vote for Coleman but I heard him talk and it changed my mind,? first-time voter and UMD freshman Casey Swart said.

UMD student Lacey Fawcett agreed that visits from the senatorial candidates and Hillary Clinton made a difference.

“They brought up a lot of good points,? Fawcett said.

Although Fawcett thought visits from politicians influenced the vote at UMD, she mostly looked to her parents for advice.

How students came to the decision of their vote seemed to take a back seat to the importance of students just getting out and voting, many for the first time.

“I saw lines were extremely long and I wanted to get things organized,? said Gina Pudlick, building manager for Kirby Student Center.

According to Pudlick, the line once reached to the second floor outside the bookstore.

“The majority are freshman on campus. I would assume they’re all first time voters,? Pudlick said.

Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) kept their table open all day to help assist first-time voters and any other students who may have questions about how to register or where to vote.

“A lot of people haven’t registered yet,? MPIRG member Leah Nelson said.

Nelson added that she had been busy all day with a steady flow of students.

The lines to vote remained short from late afternoon until closing with the exception being the line of students who had yet to register. Several students saw the time it would take to register and vote and left because of not wanting to wait.

MPIRG registered 5,064 students to vote this year. There were 2,448 votes cast at the UMD location which included on-campus residents and members of the community from precinct 10. UMD currently has 3,400 students living on campus.