Golden Eagles vote in Golden State primary

Students spread out all through the voting area in the Palmer Wing of the library during Super Tuesday as the primaries continued throughout the day.

Richard Tzul, News Managing Editor

Super Tuesday arrived in full force as Golden Eagles lined up to cast their vote in the Democratic primary along with other races and measures on the ballot. 

The campus voting center, which opened on Saturday morning and closed on Tuesday evening, hosted an gargantuan amount of voters on Election Day. Some voters said they waited over an hour and a half in line to vote, for some, the long line didn’t deter them from casting their ballot.

After waiting in line, Edgar Ramirez-Hernandez, a business administration major, said he used three different ballot machines due to technical difficulties he came across. On his first machine, he encountered a paper jam, on the second, there was a printing error. The third attempt was a success. The delays, he said, took him an extra 20 minutes to submit his ballot.

Ramirez-Hernandez was “just a little bit frustrated” about his experience but still felt it was “definitely worth it.” He added, there was one convenient aspect to the campus center: he got to go vote straight after class, like many students who turned out.

Long lines and technical difficulties occurred across the county during Super Tuesday.

“‘This was a challenging day for a lot of voters in L.A. County and I certainly apologize for that,’ said Dean Logan, the county’s registrar of voters,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “‘That’s something that has to be better.’”

When reached for comment, Mike Sanchez, an LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk spokesperson, said questions from media outlets were answered and there is no other comment at the moment.

While the campus voting center’s lengthy line, which grew longer in the later hours, was not a deterrent for voters like Ramirez-Hernandez, not everyone was willing or able to wait.

Helory Kojongian, a nutritional science major, was last in line, as the polls were closed to new arrivals after 8 p.m. It was her third time visiting the center.

She said she first arrived at 11 a.m. before class but the line was too long, so she returned at 3:45 p.m. after class but it was still too long, so she returned right before polls closed. Kojongian admitted she might not be willing to wait over half an hour. In the meantime, she researched the ballot options on her phone since she was still trying to figure out who to vote for.

The UT interviewed over a dozen voters, the majority of them students, a clear favorite of the Democratic presidential candidates was among them.

Yolanda Bustamante, a business administration major voted for Bernie Sanders because she could “relate more to him.” According to Bustamante, he’s the candidate that can “make a difference.”

Sitting on a chair near the ballot machines, Bustamante said she was awaiting accommodations from poll workers as she couldn’t stand in line due to a metal plate in her leg. Her situation did not dissuade her, she said, as she was voting with the future of her kids in mind.

In Super Tuesday exit polls analyzed by the Washington Post, Sanders, the oldest candidate in the race, did disproportionately well among younger voters. Why have youth gravitated towards a 78-year-old man?

“Well it’s certainly not because of an equivalence of age is it?” said Morley Winograd, a researcher who has co-written three books on millennials. He said millennials feel burdened by financial setbacks such as the student loan debt crisis. “They have a large economic grievance and a very valid one and not having seen the system delivered solutions to that, despite many promises… they’re much more interested in shaking up the system.”

But not everyone was feeling “the Bern.” Anthony Ray, a music major, who showed up to vote in the early afternoon when the center was less congested, backed Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination. Having voted in every election since he turned 18 a decade ago, Ray felt Sanders was too “polarizing” and concerned he would put off moderates come the general election, reflecting the ongoing concern among Democratic voters about which candidate is the most electable.

Sanders, who greatly invested time and resources in California, won the Golden State according to the Associated Press. The Vermont Senator struck gold considering the largest state in the country has the most delegates. It was a much desired win as former Vice President Joe Biden won 10 out of 14 states on Super Tuesday.

“Bernie would’ve had a disastrous Super Tuesday if it hadn’t been for the strength of his support in California,” said Winograd. “It leaves him in a fighting chance for the nomination.” 

Winograd added that Biden may have an advantage in upcoming Southern states. “But that’s assuming that things go the way they’ve already gone, and there’s nothing in the current race that suggests that yesterday is a prediction of tomorrow in any which way.”

The other candidates ultimately under-performed with Warren finishing third in her own home state and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg only winning the territory of American Samoa, despite spending over half a billion dollars of his own fortune into his campaign. He dropped out of the race on Wednesday.