County Durham unveils newest voting site: Shooters Saloon

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After 2.36% of Duke students voted in the 2021 municipal primary election on October 5, County Durham realized something had to be done about low youth turnout. Their solution? Place a polling station in Shooters Saloon.

“The difference in turnout was remarkable,” said Dawn Baxton, president of the local electoral board. “We have already seen 50% of the student body vote early and believe we could very well achieve 100% turnout by election day on November 3.” An analysis by The Chronicle last week supports this prediction, as the only people on campus who don’t go to Shooters vote in municipal elections like it’s their job.

Asked about the importance of getting the vote out, Sanford sophomore Sally Shleming was elated. “I have a countdown to every election, just to keep things in perspective,” she said, and pulled out her laptop to prove it, like there’s a reason you would lie about something like that. “Only 1107 days left!

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“Oh, are there local elections? I mean, if I can vote at Shoots, I guess I will.

The value of such a convenient location for undergraduates cannot be understated. “There’s no way I would have voted if they hadn’t brought it here,” admitted Chad Bëëfstik, a senior economics student, as he explained his experience of voting in an election to me. municipal council for the first time. “I spend 100% of my time either at Shooters or at the gym, so that whole ‘going to an elementary school or library to vote’ thing wasn’t going to happen. But I am happy to have fulfilled my civic duty. However, I got a little confused, got up there and couldn’t read any of the names, so I just wrote in “Hugh Jass”.

The move was also a huge boon for businesses. Jack Hardy is one of the many freshmen who went to Shooters for the first time this weekend instead of The News. “You know,” he pontificated. where I always am: curled up in my bed with a nice cup of herbal tea and a cool copy of “Lolita.” But, when my friends told me I could vote at Shooters, I knew Humbert and Dolores were going to have to wait .

Not everyone is that excited. A number of students across campus have complained that Shooters has gotten too political since allowing the non-partisan electoral council to do its job. A student, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of social reactions, worries about how this environment might influence the end result. “I’m all for this change and the elimination of the vote,” she explained, “but I’m a little nervous about myself and my sisterhood sisters because this weird thing happens when we we get drunk where we become republicans, and i know We are not the only ones.

The biggest opponents of the new location, however, were the poll workers. Interactions between the Duke community and the residents of Durham are often strained, but for Theresa Mullen, 83, the last week was particularly infuriating: “The first time someone voted for Hugh Jass, I admit it. , I laughed. But then it just kept happening. I was a big supporter of this new site, but I’m starting to wonder if asking drunk students to vote is a good idea. I personally administered 1,500 ballots and at least a thousand of them were votes for Jass.

Whether you like the move or not, there’s no denying that it sparked an increase in campaign activism on campus. Alexyei Dimitriov, an international student from Trinity, hailed the changing tide. “I can’t vote, so I’m definitely coming over to Shooters now to try and influence the room to vote. I just want to make sure everyone knows their options, ”he said with a heavy Russian accent. “Speaking of, have I already given you my Hugh Jass pitch?” “

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No matter where you decide to vote, vote. Local elections are extremely important and have more influence on the lives of ordinary people than almost any decision in Washington. You can register and vote early at a number of polling stations (including the Karsh Elders and Visitors Center) until October 31, or vote on Election Day (November 2) at the polling station. assigned to you. For more information visit vote.duke.edu/voting-in-north-carolina/.


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