Campus polling places were virtually empty throughout most of the day yesterday, as only a few students among the thousands of registered University-area voters turned out to cast their ballots. When the polls closed at 8 p.m., 81 people had voted at Irvine Auditorium, the polling location for students living in Hill House, sections of Superblock and the Greek houses on Spruce Street between 39th and 40th streets. Sixteen people had voted at the Christian Association building, the location for residents of the Quadrangle, Stouffer College House, parts of Superblock and Locust Walk fraternities. Eighty people out of the over 700 student voters from the Law School dormitories, Graduate Towers, Kings Court/English House and the Greek houses on Walnut Street between 38th and 39th streets had come to vote at International House. Seventy-three people voted at the Dental School, the location for students living off-campus just west of the University. · Those students who did come out to vote said that the abortion issue drew them to the polls. Many voting yesterday afternoon said that they voted for Auditor General Barbara Hafer, a Republican, for governor of Pennsylvania because of her pro-choice stance. College junior Elizabeth Gerst, a Democrat who voted at Irvine, said she almost always adheres to party lines. But she voted on the abortion issue. Wharton senior Michael Pohly, who voted at the Christian Association, said that he voted for Hafer, following the recommendations in the pro-choice voter's guide which he received on Locust Walk. "If you don't vote, you can't bitch," Pohly said. Some students who tried to vote encountered difficulties at the voting booths. Some went to the wrong polling place, others found they were not registered. College sophomore Rachel Cohen came to Irvine prepared to cast her ballot, but was told by poll workers that she was not on the books. Cohen called Voter Registration and discovered that she was registered to vote in her hometown, Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania. "It is frustrating," she said. "I just yelled at everyone for not voting, and I may not be able to myself." Poll workers said that they usually do not get a large student turnout during the day because of classes. Greg Howard, who oversees the polls at Irvine, said that he "hate[s] sending . . . away" people who are not on his rolls. Howard said this year's election was "small," and that usually only 100 students vote at Irvine. In a mayoral election, over 300 students turn out, he said. While they knew about the gubernatorial candidates Hafer and Democratic incumbent Robert Casey and their stances, students seemed uncertain about the other candidates. First-year Medical student Robertson Tucker said he wanted to vote, but was not sure if he would because he did not know enough about races other than the gubernatorial contest. He said he would vote for Casey, and after deliberating for five minutes outside the polls, decided to go in and vote. Stephen Glass, Liz Herman, Raji Jagadeesan and Beth Mantz contributed to this story.Comments powered by Disqus
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