California voters flocked to polling places Tuesday to cast their ballots on seven initiatives and to elect a presidential candidate to be officially nominated by their party.
Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and were expected to have a record number of voters for a presidential primary, since California voter registration was 700,000 people higher than it was for the last primary four years ago.
Polling place inspector Danny Hernandez has worked the polls for five years and said that he recalls the last primary being slower. An hour and a half before it closed, Hernandez said the polling place had 225 ballots cast, almost half of what they were scheduled to receive.
â€œIt has been busier this year and I have noticed a new generation is coming out to the polls,â€ Hernandez said. â€œYoung Americans are speaking and I think that is great because it will have an impact on the number of voters, as well as the outcome of the elections.â€
Another polling place worker, Cassy Abbott, 18, said that she was not only excited to work at the polling place, but was also looking forward to voting for the first time.
â€œIt is great that I can vote now and it makes me feel like my voice and opinion matters,â€ Abbott said.
The polling place at University Presbyterian Church, where many Fresno State students vote, stayed consistently busy throughout the evening and at 5:30 p.m. twelve people waited in line to cast their ballot.
One voter who stood in line was Erika Gaytan, 24, who said that she was looking forward to voting all day so that she could cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton. Gaytan, a student at Fresno City College, also said that she thought Proposition 92 was important because it would keep tuition low for students like her, who attend community colleges.
â€œI think that it is important for people to vote because it gives them the right to have an opinion about what is going on in our country,â€ Gaytan said.
Zakiyyah Abdul-Mateen, a senior health science major at Fresno State, said that she made it a point to participate in this election and to vote no on Proposition 91 because she didnâ€™t think funding should be taken away from public transportation.
â€œIt is already less supported than it should be,â€ Abdul-Mateen said. â€œPublic transportation is better for the air and our health and more money should be put into it.â€
Another Fresno State student, Tauheed Sabrie, sophomore criminology major, said that he voted so that he could help move Barack Obama closer to the White House.
â€œI voted for Barack because I like his ideas and I think he is educated and smart,â€ Sabrie said.