This year was much different.
Last semester I took Political Science, which was the first class I had ever taken devoted strictly to politics. I learned more about the party system, how presidents were elected, and what disadvantages the political system has. I used these this information to think more critically about the presidential nominations, the campaigns they were running, and the political ads that I constantly saw in the months before the election. But come Election Day, I was ready.
Ben Greene and I decided upon Centennial Hall for our location to cover the election. We walked in the door, and was greeted by a security guard protecting the election room. Immediately, Ben and I were restricted as to what we could do, which was to stand near the entrance of the hall, and talk to people as they were entering and exiting the building.
We talked to three or four people within the first twenty minutes of being there, but the polls were not that particularly busy. We asked them about the process and what they thought of the election as a whole, and many were first time voters saying the process was a lot easier than expected. Soon after talking with these students, Ben and I were banished to the outside of the building and were given Election Observer stickers in case we were approached by anyone else.
Once outside, the amount of people entering an exiting the polls became next to no one, save for one man named Fred. Fred chatted up Ben and myself, talking about various times in his life, and each story was stranger than the next. Fred openly discussed his political views with the two of us, crediting the movement of women into the workforce as starting the downfall of America. We left the polling site after 75 minutes, right as Fred was talking about his butterfly knife and how he always carries it around with him.
For the rest of the night, I was down in the Marquette Tribune office, watching and live-tweeting the event from the Tribune's Twitter handle. We watched President Obama become re-elected, and then stayed up all night creating out special edition Tribune. At the late, or rather early, hour of 6 a.m., I retreated to my dorm room, completely election-ed out.