Ellie Gurary, 18, a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University from Bridgewater, N.J., thought about voting for this year’s presidential election when she was still in high school.
“I registered at my high school before I left and I was interested in absentee voting,” she said. “They sent the application to my house, which I filled and returned to my county’s [Somerset] clerk’s office.”
As an absentee voter, she is one of many students on Pittsburgh’s college campuses that are expected to vote in this year’s pivotal election — many for the first time.
They take the time to vote absentee, or even to register here because, as many said, this election is critical, and they want a say in its outcome.
In this election, some said, the Internet is playing the same outcome-altering role as television did in the 1960 election during the Kennedy-Nixon debate.
“I think the media is playing a larger role,” Gurary said.
In fact, Brittany Youngman, 21 a University of Pittsburgh from Cleveland, Ohio, registered for absentee voting online.
“You have to apply first and they send you the application by mail.”
A political science major, Youngman is excited about her first time voting for a president.
“It’s my first time being able to vote because I was out of the country the first time,” she said. “I’m interested in politics. It’s my major so I figured I should vote.”
Max Hutchinson, a CMU sophomore from Mt. Lebanon, plans to vote at home next week. He said the outcome of this election will affect everyone.
“Because it affects every aspect in American life,” he said. “I feel as though there are substantial policy differences and topics that actually matter.”
Hillary Cohen, 21, a Pitt senior at from Olney, Md., registered to vote in Pittsburgh, and will cast her ballot on campus.
“Our country is in a much worse condition than it has been in a while,” she said. “It is important to elect the person that will help out our country the most.”
Chelsea Wilhelm, 18, a freshman at Pitt, said that students would have a significant impact on the result of this election.
“I think young voters are more educated right now,” she said. “Youth has the most power in an election. I think this election the youth is more interested.”
(Alon Melamed can be reached at email@example.com.)