On Tuesday, Cal State Fullerton students and local community members showed up to vote for the 2020 election at the Titan Student Union.
With poll workers and staff clad in masks and face shields, voters were not only able to vote in person, but had the option to drop off their ballots inside or through a ballot drive-thru which was located outside of the TSU.
“Particularly because we're a state institution, we wanted to make sure that we had an accessible facility for the community at large as well as the students,” said Carrie Stewart, interim associate vice president for Government and Community Relations at CSUF. “Also, we have the local community members who we really encourage civic engagement,”
With a large local student population, Stewart said that having a voting center on campus made it convenient for the student body to vote in person.
Most of the voters who casted their votes opted to use traditional voting booths. Stewart said that some were first-time voters.
“I think the opportunity to vote in person, it helps validate the experience,” Stewart said.
With a record number of more than one million Orange County residents voting early in the 2020 election, voters appeared in a steady flow throughout the day with primarily low wait times at the TSU.
Grace Klingsberg, a first-time voter and Fullerton resident, said “This is my first time voting, so I just feel more comfortable coming in person, and since I've never voted before, it’s cool to come and see it.”
In between ballots, staff members frequently sanitized each booth to ensure the safety of all voters. The university also provided several booths and additional masks for voters in need of face coverings.
“The ballot boxes are pretty far apart, so it's not like anybody can see what you're doing and with COVID, you get a nice space in between,” Klingsberg said.
Those who showed up in person were pleased with their overall experience.
Along with the 12 statewide propositions on the ballot this year, voters expressed the importance of voting.
“I think it's better to vote; that way you have some choices to make and if a proposition goes through or a law gets pushed through and you didn't like it, it's like ‘Oh well you didn't vote for it,’” said Brandon Reliford, a Fullerton resident. “This is your chance to try and get what you want approved, so you might as well take it while you can.”