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NC State Students Travel By Party Bus To The Polls

NC State Voter
Leoneda Inge

Students at NC State traveled by party bus to the polls on this Election Day.

In 2012, more than 13,000 people voted at NC State’s Talley Student Union.  But it’s no longer a voting site.  So students got creative.  The student government association won a Cosmopolitan Magazine contest that provided a party bus to the new off-campus polling place, which included Cosmo male models. 

Twenty-one-year-old Kinesha Harris says the bus was very convenient.

“And I got on the bus for that reason as well as, Cosmo, they had the models, I mean," smiled Harris. " As a female, I mean, that’s a very good incentive!”

The models wore very thin “Voting is Sexy” t-shirts.  Organizers say North Carolina’s tight US Senate race between Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis, along with the use of social media helped them win the “#CosmoVotes” contest.

Camden Willeford is the Associate Director of Communications for Student Government.

"Students, for the most part ... lean more toward the apathetic side of voting," said Willeford.  "So I think this event gets people out and thinking about voting, and provides them the transportation to vote."

Meanwhile, the voting precinct at NC State is not the only campus-based polling place to close in recent years.  County elections officials have also closed precincts at Winston-Salem State, UNC Charlotte and at East Carolina University.

The Institute for Southern Studies says the decision to close on-campus voting in North Carolina took place mainly in counties where county boards of elections have new GOP majorities, following the 2012 election of Republican Governor Pat McCrory.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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