UPDATE: Liberty University’s voting precinct (Lynchburg City Third Ward, Second Precinct) reported 3,347 total votes, the highest turnout out of the 18 precincts in the city.
Of those votes, more than 93 percent were cast for Gov. Mitt Romney. A little more than 4.5 percent voted for President Barack Obama, and nearly 1.5 percent chose to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Write-in votes and those cast for the remaining third party candidates totaled 26, less than 1 percent.
View the full results and a breakdown by precinct at electionresults.virginia.gov.
Droves of Liberty University students flocked to the Vines Center, Tuesday, to cast their vote in the presidential election. This was the first time students were able to vote for president on Liberty’s campus, thanks to a new voting precinct.
Liberty’s precinct was created in October 2011 and opened in March 2012.
“I definitely think being able to vote at your school gives easier access to voting and encourages us as students to vote,” sophomore Connor Worthington said.
Jordan McDaniel, a sophomore, voted for the first time Tuesday. She said as a student with a busy work and class schedule, it would have been extremely difficult finding time to vote if the precinct were not on campus.
“Here it makes it very convenient, I can just walk in from class and vote,” she said.
Kyle Harvey, a senior from California, is very appreciative that the city of Lynchburg put a precinct on campus.
“I don’t have a car here, so getting off campus to get to a precinct would be difficult.”
Liberty has made a great effort to ensure all students were properly educated about registering to vote and encouraged to exercise that right.
“We are definitely encouraged to vote here,” Harvey said. “It’s talked about quite a bit, from Convocation to different materials and emails.”
On Sept. 14, Liberty dedicated an entire Convocation service to show students how to register and allow them an opportunity to do so. As a result, the university has received more than 3,000 new voter registration forms.
“I felt very informed,” senior Jeannette Larson said. “Liberty gave us much information about the process … (and) made it really easy by allowing us to register in convo.”
Sophomore Jolene Brown remembers accompanying her mother to vote as a child. Today she voted for the first time, and because Brown was able to vote on campus, she said she did not have to miss class. Brown said casting her first ballot was something she took great pride in.
“In other countries, people don’t have the opportunity to vote. I feel like everyone should be able to vote so their voice is heard,” she said.
Many students, like Brown, expressed appreciation for the American right to vote.
“Men have died to give us the opportunity to exercise the right to vote,” Harvey said. “I wouldn’t think of not voting.”
Liberty hosted an election results watch party in Towns Alumni Auditorium from 8 p.m. to midnight. More than 1,350 students attended the event, which included live election coverage on a big screen, food, prizes, giveaways of donations from local businesses, and times of prayer.