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the NEC holds Get Out the Vote to increase voting in the UA and Class Board elections Credit: Frida Garza

Amidst loud music and free food, candidates for Undergraduate Assembly and Class Boards met with students on Locust Walk for the Nominations and Elections Committee’s annual “Get Out the Vote” event.

In addition to encouraging students to vote, the goal of Wednesday’s event was to get people to be more educated when they vote, Wharton and College junior and NEC Vice Chairman for Elections Ben Kruger said.

College sophomore and “Get Out the Vote” Co-Chairwoman Ari Cohen agreed. “We try to balance educative voting with having a high voter turnout,” she said, adding that “this events strikes a good balance between the two.”

As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the undergraduate voter turnout was 31 percent.

Some students who attended the event, which was sponsored by Au Bon Pain, Chipotle, Kitchen at Penn, Popchips and Vitamin Water, found it informative.

College freshman Ryan Daniels said “it was definitely helpful … even if all the candidates weren’t there,” adding that it was also “really cool and fun.”

Other students, however, were apathetic towards both the event and the elections.

“I was enticed by the free food but not by the voting,” Wharton freshman Austin Levitt said.

College freshman Anthony Liveris, who only voted for a few people he knew personally on the ballot before the event, said that “some people handed out flyers and gave their pitch but I didn’t stay.”

“Let’s be real, how drastic is their change going to be?” Liveris added.

Although some students preferred to distance themselves from the elections, the two presidential candidates are still striving to reach every potential voter.

Wharton and Engineering junior Tyler Ernst said he is “going to continue on course and hit a few dorms and some more dining halls.”

“Right now, it’s gotten to the point that we’re out there … but you do find those students [who have not voted], and it's good to get a single person engaged.”

College junior Cornelius Range explained that his “campaign has been in full effect” since he collected signatures for his petition for candidacy.

He will continue to reach out to students through emails and “really capitalize on Facebook”.

In addition to the balloons and lawn signs posted around campus, the NEC will staff voting booths throughout campus residences on Thursday and Friday.

This new initiative “is a more in-your-face reminder to vote,” Kruger said.

With NEC’s efforts this election season, Kruger hopes that they will eclipse last year’s voter turnout, which was 49 percent.

Voting ends at 5 p.m. on Friday. Election results will be announced Friday night if no violations are filed.

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