Four years ago, Janisha Vargas lined up with a couple hundred voters at the Golleher Alumni House to cast her first vote in a presidential election.
Today, Vargas, a public health major, voted again amid a pandemic because she wants her vote to count.
“That first time, I’m not sure it did get counted because it was so late, and there were so many people in line,” said Vargas, who voted Tuesday at the campus voting center at the Titan Student Union.
A steady stream of voters flowed through the on-campus voting center on Tuesday. Poll workers enforced COVID-19 protocols, handed out ballots, and disinfected booths. Cal State Fullerton hosted voting at Irvine Center as well. Election officials have said that with the high volume of early ballots that totals may not be official for a few days.
We’re just getting started …
— Titans Athletics (@FullertonTitans) November 3, 2020
And throughout the day, voters cast ballots in an election that ultimately will determine a leader to guide a country grappling with COVID-19 and facing foundational questions about racial justice and economic uncertainty.
For Vargas, the pandemic and racial justice are central to why and who she voted for in this election.
“Well, I am a woman of color and public health is my major,” said Vargas, who said she voted for former Vice President Joe Biden. “It’s just … everything has hit this year. So, it’s why I felt like I had to be here and vote.”
The entire men’s basketball team wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts to cast their ballots and said they see voting as a chance to bring about real change.
“Since the coronavirus started and the racial injustice, we felt like, with most of us here being African American men, we felt like it would be good for all of us to come together and mark ourselves in history,” said Titan player Jalen Harris.
Earlier this year, the team, coaches, and support staff all registered to vote. Coach Dedrique Taylor said the decision to register as a team was in response to the global unrest and protests calling for social justice and racial equity.
“I’m proud of our guys for taking advantage of an opportunity to be part of generational change that will impact their families, spouses and children,” Taylor said.
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