Obama Wins UC Irvine Student Vote in California Primary Election
At the reputedly most conservative campus in the University of California system, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama received the most votes at UC Irvine on the primary elections on Super Tuesday, Feb. 5. Hillary Clinton, while not exactly right on Obama’s heels, finished second.
The biggest message that polling administrators wanted to get across, however, was that students need to be registered in the county that they will be voting in, before they can vote.
“There were a lot of disappointed students who were registered in their parents’ county so they couldn’t vote. They needed to be in their county,” said Andy Smith, a pollster stationed at Vista del Campo.
Each county has its own set of voting procedure regulations, so even California residents who move within the state need to re-register every time they move across county lines.
While it is not possible to know the total number of votes that each candidate received at the UCI polling stations, each station posted its electronic voting results shortly after the polls were closed on Super Tuesday. A significant portion of electronic votes was provisional, meaning the vote was not placed at the voter’s assigned station, and these may or may not have been counted in California’s final vote, so the provisional electronic voting results were not posted. Reasons a provisional vote might not count include someone voting twice or votes being placed out of county. Paper ballots were counted separately later.
But to the extent that the posted electronic results indicate, UCI clearly supported Obama above all other candidates. He received a total of 327 electronic votes from all campus polling stations, while Clinton received 185. Republicans John McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee received 43, 20 and 12 votes, respectively. Democrat John Edwards, who publicly withdrew from the race on January 30, managed to still receive six votes. He nearly tied with Republican Ron Paul, who is still actively campaigning for the presidential bid.
“I voted for Obama because I agreed with most of his views,” said Jaz Singh, a second-year double-major in biochemistry and molecular biology. Singh also noted later that, even though Clinton had won the election in California, it was not by a lot. In fact, Clinton won 52 percent of the Democratic votes as opposed to Obama, who won 42.4 percent.
UCI in particular had a little over 1,000 electronic votes and a few hundred more ballots by students.
“Overall, we were very pleased with the turnout,” said Dolores, one pollster stationed at a precinct in Mesa Court.