Voters on Boston University campus polling stations express concerns about mail-in ballots

Signs mark the outside of Kilachand Hall as a voting station on Tuesday. Photo by Kiran Kishor Galani/BU News Service

By Kiran Galani
BU News Service

As one of the most polarizing elections in recent history came to a close, one last wave of voters in the Boston area took to the polls to cast their ballot on election day. 

The polling stations at Ward 5 Precinct 10 and Ward 21 Precinct 2 located on the Boston University campus did not see long lines or massive crowds on election day. However, they hosted a constant trickle of voters insistent on making their voices heard and doing so in person.

“I think this is a pivotal point in the history of our country,” said Mary Manning, a Boston University senior who voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Ward 5 Precinct 10 today. “If we don’t enact change right now it could be detrimental.”

Manning said that while she was not personally affected by the current administration, she has seen people who were and it was important to her to vote to change that.

“I feel like you have to vote like your life depends on it even if it doesn’t,” Manning said. “I feel on behalf of my friends who are people of color and LGBTQ+, I have to take into consideration the threats another next four years of Trump administration would have.”

Manning also said reproductive rights were important to her as a woman and she had to vote for someone who did not threaten them. 

The Kilachand Honors College at Boston University saw a little more activity and slightly longer lines than other nearby polling stations on Tuesday. Photo by Kiran Kishor Galani/BU News Service

Other voters also expressed a desire for change, even those who weren’t Democrats. Fenway area resident Tom Shiels, 62, said he voted for Mitt Romney despite suspecting that Biden would win Massachusetts anyway. 

“I voted for Romney because I didn’t think either candidate was a good candidate,” Shiels said.

MIT student Jessica Heine, 24, cast her vote for Biden even though her views were generally moderate.

“I’m fairly moderate, I guess, but I’m very much against the way Trump conducts himself in office,” Heine said. “I think he has done a very bad job leading in general.”

Heine said she was also concerned about the acceptance of mail-in ballots. 

Her concerns were shared by several voters who had decided to come in person. 

“I’m worried that too many of the Democrats will have voted by mail and there’s going to be trouble,” Heine said. “I wanted to vote in person because it gets counted this day so I figured I’d be safe.”

“I hope that everything goes flawlessly,” Manning said. “Everyone should have the right to vote.” 

MIT student Jessica Heine, 24, cast her vote for Joe Biden at Ward 5 Precinct 10. “I’m fairly moderate, I guess, but I’m very much against the way Trump conducts himself in office,” Heine said. Photo by Kiran Kishor Galani/BU News Service

Manning said she hopes every voter has a chance for their voice to be heard, especially in light of voter suppression efforts such as the attempted destruction of a Copley Square ballot drop box on Oct. 25.

“I really hope that everyone whose ballot was destroyed got another chance for their vote to be counted, but I think we’ll just see tonight,” Manning said.

Boston resident Angel Lopez was also worried that problems relating to mail-in voting might crop up.

“We’ve already seen multiple pushes, not here in Massachusetts necessarily, but around the United States, trying to invalidate these votes,” Lopez said. 

Lopez said he believes every cast vote should be counted, regardless of how long it takes.  

“If a person voted, you gotta count the vote,” Lopez said. “‘Oh it’s gonna take two weeks,’ let it take two weeks. I don’t care. You gotta make sure that this happens the way it’s supposed to happen.”

While Lopez did not want to share who he voted for, he said he did not vote for Trump because he believes Trump’s platform is based on a complete lack of empathy for everyday individuals. 

“They don’t care what happens to everyone else as long as things are going well for them and that’s their only metric for success which is what we’ve been seeing for the past four years,” Lopez said. “I don’t want four more years of acting like the common man doesn’t exist.”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.