Students in Philadelphia Face Voting Challenges

Managing to wake up at 4 a.m. to stand in line hours before the polls open was an easy task for Temple University students who were voting for the first time.

Accepting the fact that they could cast a vote for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama wasn’t as easy.

An unidentified female student shared her frustration with poll-watchers at the Dendy Recreation Center, located at 10th and Oxford streets, when she was told she could not be cast her vote at an electronic polling station. Instead, she was informed she would have to vote using a provisional ballot.

After discussing the matter with an Obama poll-watcher, the student was allowed to cast her vote electronically.

Ida Haley, judge of elections for Ward 20 in North Philadelphia, said many students who were first-time voters could not vote at the electronic voting booths because their names were not listed as registered voters.

“They were able to vote, but they never got their registration cards,” Haley said.

Of the 35 ballots counted at 7 p.m. tonight, Haley said the majority of them were from students who did not have voter registration cards.

“[Students] were anxious to do the provisional [ballots] instead of waiting in line because it was so backed up,” Haley said.

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