For #loweclass #sports yesterday, I was assigned to go to the Alumni Memorial Union, where there were three separate "wards" from 3:30-4:45 pm yesterday for the 2012 Presidential Election. After a little investigative work at Centennial Hall, adjacent to the Milwaukee Public Library, I trudged to the Union and saw basically what I expected. Long lines for both registered and non-registered voters alike. I talked to one student who said she was in line for more than two hours.
The atmosphere at the Union was actually pretty good. I think a lot of students (I'd guess at least 95 percent of voters there were students) were excited to vote and get a chance to represent their country. Two students I talked to were voting for the first time and said it was exciting to be part of an election, but were also glad the political mudslinging was finally going to be over.
One of the most important things I learned was a tweet from fellow classmate Pat Leary, who found it was more effective to ask voters why they were voting instead of who they were voting for. Many people are turned off immediately if you ask for something private like their voting preferences, but many people were happy to talk about having the chance to express their views.
Overall, it was a valuable experience being a part of the 2012 Presidential Election. As a voter, I would have had no problem discussing why or who I voted for with reporters, but I know that's not for everyone. Some people are very private and don't have much interest talking about such a sensitive subject. I know that this is a journalist's job in some circles, but it shouldn't be for a sports class.