Turnout in State College: Voters Anticipate Record-Breaking Numbers

Story posted November 4, 2020 in News, CommRadio by Jack McCune

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Pennsylvania is yet again an important battleground state that could determine the fate of the presidential election, and while Penn State students could make a big difference in the commonwealth, adults in State College and nearby municipalities also have a big say.

Democrat Hillary Clinton won Centre County in the 2016 election by less than 2,000 votes, but Happy Valley wasn’t enough to win the swing state, and Trump’s 35,000 ballots in the county was the most by any republican candidate in the past five general elections. No matter which candidate State College votes for, their vote could change the entire election.

Most adult voters are confident that ballots have multiplied this time around, and that the percentage eligible who vote will be much higher than the 59% nationwide number four years ago.

Thirty-five-year-old Stephen Quigley of State College credits the flexibility of this year’s voting options. He planned to vote in person Tuesday morning, but the line was so long that he had to go back later so he wouldn’t be late to work. He thinks the extensive in-person turnout, in combination with the 31,000 State College residents who voted by mail, shows that ballot numbers should increase.

“People are showing up to the polls, and others already voted,” Quigley said. “I think people care more about this election than in previous years.”

Downtown State College was still full of supporters of both parties despite Election Day meaning less overall. Centre County resident Nathaniel Rascusin didn’t expect the day to have as much buzz and liveliness as it did.

“I sent in my ballot weeks ago, but it was fun walking around campus seeing all the supporters and voters,” Rascusin said. “I predicted most people would’ve already voted.”

 

Jack McCune is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jxm1237@psu.edu.