Penn students mobilized in record-breaking numbers to vote in Tuesday's midterm elections. Across campus, Penn housed polling stations for the University’s faculty, staff, and students. Braving the morning’s rainy weather, Penn students voted in polling locations in Vance Hall, Houston Hall, Iron Gate Theater, the highrises, and elsewhere.
At 5:30 pm, Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett joined Penn Leads the Vote for an Election Day celebration in the Harnwell Rooftop Lounge. Speaking to the DP, Gutmann underscored the important of a high voter turnout on campus, saying, “I want this to show how seriously we take our right to vote. The implications are very, very clear; young people’s voices need to be heard.”
After the polls closed, Penn’s various political organizations gathered at various locations around campus to watch the results roll in.
Penn's Government and Politics Association met in the living room of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity house to watch results. College junior Archana Upadhyay expressed her disappointment about the results in Texas's Senate race. “I was pretty hopeful about Beto O’Rourke taking that seat and flipping Texas. I’m pretty disappointed that Ted Cruz won, but I’m not really surprised.”
Around 30 members of Penn's International Affairs Association watched the night's results as well. Meeting in the Radian, many expressed dismay with Republican Ron DeSantis' victory in Florida's gubernatorial race.
At Smokey Joe’s bar, the site of the Penn College Republicans watch party, the atmosphere was less elated. Coming to terms with the Democratic Party’s victory in the House of Representatives, College Republicans interim President and College senior Richard Murphy acknowledged the night's blue wave. “Coming from a Penn perspective, seeing what I am seeing, there is a lot of anger from the left and anger does drive votes,” Murphy said.
At the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter house, Penn Democrats gathered to celebrate the Democratic Party’s wins in Pennsylvania. Penn Dems Communications Director and College senior Jack Weisman said, “It really shows that voters in Pennsylvania that narrowly went for Trump in 2016 are not happy with what’s been going on in the Trump Administration. They don’t like the corruption, they don’t like the attempts to take away their health care, they don’t like the attempts to lower taxes on the rich, and this is a rebuke to Trump from the voters of Pennsylvania.”
Staff photographers Kelsey Warren, Jean Chapiro, Maria Murad, Audrey Tirtaguna, Sophia Swidey, and senior photographers Zach Sheldon, Son Nguyen, and Idil Demirdag contributed photos.