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A vote here flag planted in front of Baker Center in Athens, Ohio, Nov. 7, 2023.

OU students speak about election day experience

All students who live in residence halls – besides students who live in Bromley and Voigt Hall, who vote at First Presbyterian Church, 2 N. Court St. – will vote at Baker University Center on 1 Park Pl. to cast their ballots for the Nov. 7 election.

Thomas Clevenger, a freshman studying wildlife and conservation biology, said it is important for people to participate in the government, especially in smaller elections. 

Many students felt compelled to vote in this election because of Ohio statewide issues, Issues 1 and 2, which deal with abortion rights and marijuana legalization.

“Voting is just a really important thing,” Josh Toffey, a junior studying computer science, said. “Something that people just don’t understand is that if you want change, sometimes it’s just not on the higher power. It’s on us. We have most of the control when it comes to voting, especially (Issues) 1 and 2. They’re both really, really important issues not just for women but for a lot of other people as well.”

Camille Anders, a sophomore studying psychology, said it is important for voters to be educated on what they are voting for. 

Election Day started slow at the Athens County Board of Elections, with only a handful of people trickling in and out around 10 a.m. However, by 2 p.m., a line began to form outside with people eager to cast their vote. 

Sophia Neilsen, a senior majoring in psychology and communications, said she believes everyone should vote despite everyone who has told her that they don’t have time to vote or that only one vote doesn’t matter.

“We’re given this right to express our voice, and I think everyone should use that,” Neilson said. 

As time drew further into the afternoon, more and more people showed up to the polls before they closed at 7:30 p.m.

Hollie Brown, a junior studying education, took an initial interest in this election’s topics through social media, and she decided to further educate herself by reading the news.

Because of the high student population in Athens, many voters had to change addresses to be able to vote locally this November. The process added difficulties for voters, including Stuart Landry, a sophomore studying media arts production. 

“The registration to vote here was a little strange,” Landry said. “I had to change my address from Columbus to (Athens) and stuff got mixed up, so it wasn’t (as) easy as 1-2-3. But I think that it was important enough to kind of go through the process and come out today.”

Hattie Sherman, a sophomore studying community and public health, said it was easy to vote in person, but she was not supposed to have to. 

“My mail-in ballot just didn’t come in time, and I called my county board of elections, and they were like, ‘Hope your ballot comes, tough luck,’” Sherman said. "I’m just confused about how my mail-in ballot didn’t come in time, considering I sent it in like the second week of October.”

Sherman said first-time voters should register to vote as soon as they turn 18 because the process usually takes at least a month.

“Just don’t wait until the last minute (to register),” Sherman said. 



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