Early voting event at Charles Koch Arena sees positive turnout


Kaylee Stout / The Sunflower

Wichita State held a community voting event for WSU students and the surrounding areas on Oct. 22.

As election day is approaching, the country is witnessing record breaking early voting numbers. Wichita State joined the conversation by opening an early voting site on Thursday, Oct. 22 at Charles Koch Arena. 

Community members, faculty, staff, and students utilized the site.

The ability to vote on campus served as convenient for many community members.

“I work here on campus and thought, ‘Heck, that’s awesome, all I gotta do is walk downstairs and vote,’” WSU faculty member Chris Lamb said. “It’s convenient.”

Lamb said that he has only missed two years of voting because its importance was stressed to him at a very young age. 

Alex Hagerott, a junior majoring in economics, said that the early voting worked better for him because it saved him the drive time it would have taken to vote during election day. 

Hagerott said that voting is crucial and has a big impact on how the country is run.

“I’m voting because it’s important that people control which direction they think the country is heading in and if people don’t input their opinion and exercise their right, then they are responsible for whatever happens,” Hagerott said.

Alicia Shaw, a community member, said that this is the easiest time she has had voting since 1988.  

“I’m voting today because it is my civic duty as an American,” Shaw said. “I think that democracy is the backbone of our country … People casting their ballot is a way of expressing how we feel.”

Many students said they voted on campus because it took away the unfamiliarity they would have gotten at a different polling place. 

Many voters said that they felt more motivated to cast their vote this year than they have in past years. 

Student Body President Rija Khan said that she wasn’t voting just for herself. Instead, she was casting her vote for her friends, family, and the community as a whole.

“I’m voting because of what I’ve seen happen [in] the past four years in this country,” Khan said. “Voting now is more important than ever before and I want to ensure that the future is not what the past was.”

Community member Ayron Lewallen said that voting is important no matter what believes someone has.

“Voting is important to me because there are people who died and fought for this right to be able to have the right to vote,” Lewallen said.  “Especially being a Black man during the current climate we are living in, I think it’s important no matter who you are voting for.

“Given the things that are going on with social justice and the pandemic, a lot of things that are happening are because of the people who are in power and have the elected positions that we vote for up and down the ballot every year.”