Americans across the country turned out for the midterm elections yesterday, and the Penn community was no exception. 1,931 ballots were cast at two voting locations on campus, Houston Hall and ARCH, with students voting as early as 7 a.m. Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro was declared the winner by CNN at 11:22 p.m., and while Lt. Gov. John Fetterman had a longer wait, he was eventually declared the winner of the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race over 1986 Wharton and Medical School graduate Mehmet Oz by MSNBC at 12:53 a.m. on Nov. 9.
With two of the most contentious races in America taking place in Pennsylvania, and the future of reproductive rights, the control of the Senate, and many other issues hanging in the balance, here’s a look into this historic midterm elections day.
6:48 a.m. — Poll workers in Houston Hall set up ahead of polls opening at 7 a.m. This is the first year the City of Philadelphia is offering three language options — English, Spanish, and Mandarin — on the voting machines. The City also dispatched two interpreters to be on call at Penn.
8:47 a.m. — Penn President Liz Magill voted at Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall and talked with Penn Leads the Vote volunteers after, thanking them for their work.
10:06 a.m. — College first year Jane Kinney (right), who is also a volunteer with Penn Leads the Vote, voted in the morning after volunteering for three and a half hours and before her first class. “Penn Leads the Vote works hard to make voting fun and easy so that more people can make a difference, and I know that their work today helped empower young voters. I’m really glad that I got to be a part of that,” Kinney said.
12:12 p.m. — Students wait in line for the voting machines in Houston Hall.
12:52 p.m. — Members of Penn’s volleyball team pass out free pizza and coffee to voters outside ARCH.
3:39 p.m. — College first year Margot Schneider noted all the voter registration efforts on Penn’s campus as well as the prevalence of civic participation. “I’ve talked to a couple of friends at different schools who have not had as strong voting efforts and have had a lot of people scramble to figure out their voting plan super last minute,” Schneider said. “So I’ve just been grateful to have a lot of people putting efforts to promote whatever candidate, or just help getting people registered all throughout the fall.”
8 p.m. — Polls closed with the results posted outside after. 1,327 votes were cast at Houston Hall and 604 were cast at ARCH, with 91.54% voting for Shapiro for Pennsylvania’s governor and 8.46% voting for Mastriano. 91.59% voted for Fetterman for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator, and 8.41% voted for Oz.
8:21 p.m. — Crowds gathered at Oz’s election night party at Newtown, Pa. Penn State junior Nicholas Regos, a member of College Republicans at Penn State, said that Oz “is right on the issues that matter for me, such as energy independence. I really just like his overall demeanor as a common sense [person] who wants to work with people.”
8:38 p.m. — Hunter Steach, a first year at Penn State and chief of staff at Penn State College Republicans, told the DP that he was invited to Oz’s election night party. “We had an interaction with [Oz] a few weeks ago up at Penn State, and he was very genuine man. I was a little nervous going in because, you know, this big TV doctor … it was a great experience, and it made me really understand and appreciate working for him on his campaign.”
9:04 p.m. — College senior Annie Hait, president of Penn Students for Shapiro, told the DP that “Josh stands for creating a more inclusive culture in Pennsylvania, making sure that everyone’s represented, everyone’s rights are being protected … it’s something that has motivated me to work for Josh for such a long time and stay on the campaign, and I’m really excited to see his vision come true.”
11:22 p.m. — Shapiro was declared the winner of the gubernatorial race, winning the race by 11.4%.
11:28 p.m. — Crowds cheered as Shapiro walked onto the stage with his family. “Real freedom prevailed here tonight in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said in his victory speech. “And I can stand before you tonight, thanks to all of you, in the birthplace of our democracy in the cradle of liberty, and look you in the eye and say, because of you, our democracy endures.” As of 2 a.m. on Nov. 9, Mastriano has yet to concede the race.
2 a.m. — The night ended with a new Pennsylvania governor-elect as well as a new U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, a major win for Democrats in the state and across the country.
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