Same-day registration draws GW voters to School Without Walls

Voters leave the School Without Walls polling location Nov. 8. Siobhan Finnerty | Hatchet Photographer
Voters leave the School Without Walls polling location Nov. 8. Siobhan Finnerty | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by staff writer Justine Coleman.

Student voters embraced D.C.’s same-day voter registration law Tuesday, casting their first ballots as District residents at the School Without Walls polling center on G Street.

Same-day registration allowed D.C. residents, including students, to register and vote today by regular ballot if they have a proof of residency. If attempting voters did not have a proof of residency, they could apply by special ballot, which are counted post-Election Day.

Junior Eve Zhurbinskiy got to the polls by 7 a.m. to promote her re-election campaign as a write-in candidate for the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission. She plans to stay at the polling center until 8 p.m.

“I think like people – when someone talks to them they are more willing to write people in or like vote for them especially for these local seats they may not know much about,” she said.

Zhurbinskiy said she will not find out her results for a few days because she is a write-in candidate, but she is “feeling pretty confident.”

Besides voting for the president and D.C. officials, the ballot also included a referendum on D.C. statehood.

Laetitia Combrinck, precinct captain at the School Without Walls polling center, said the polls there have been crowded all day.

“I was hoping the changes in the special ballot procedures would lower the volume of special ballots, but it doesn’t,” she said.

New limitations on which precinct a person can vote at were also put in place this year. And from years past, voters can use their cell phones to display proof of residency and a valid ID.

As of 3:30 p.m., D.C. residents cast 425 votes at the School Without Walls polling center, some GW students among them.

Harry Parker, junior, decided to complete same day registration at the polling center after being unable to cast his vote in his home state of Massachusetts.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s easy. I’ve got my form. I’m filling it out right now, go to the front, hand it in and get my ballot.”

Justin Dembowski, a sophomore and Pennsylvania native, also cast his first presidential election ballot today.

“I wanted to vote, but I had a difficult time getting an absentee ballot,” Dembowski said. “So I figured I’d come and do the same day registration and vote because this is such an important election.”

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