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USAC Elections 2024SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLA

UCLA hosts three voting centers for March 5 primary election

The Ackerman Union voting center is pictured. Voters cast their ballot on campus Tuesday in both Ackerman and Tom Bradley International Hall. (Michael Gallagher/Daily Bruin)

By Gabrielle Gillette

March 5, 2024 5:13 p.m.

This post was updated March 6 at 1:10 a.m.

Voting centers opened on campus and around Westwood on Saturday for Tuesday’s primary election.

The Hammer Museum, Tom Bradley International Hall and Ackerman Union served as polling centers accessible to students and community members looking to cast their vote on Proposition 1 and Measure HLA, and in a primary for presidential, United States Senate and local candidates.

Voting centers were open Saturday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Voters followed small rectangular signs pointing them in the direction of the voting center where they were greeted with posters informing voters of their rights, an American flag and poll workers waiting to guide them along the process.

Fourth-year biochemistry student Joanna George, who cast her ballot at Ackerman Union, said having voting centers on campus helps the process feel more accessible to students.

“I’m grateful that it’s on campus and accessible,” she said. “It’s a lot more intimidating when I have my physical ballot, but knowing all I have to do is (have) my research on hand and then on the way to whatever I’m doing, just stop by here and then leave, makes me very grateful.”

Inside the centers stood rows of yellow privacy voting desks, each with a tablet inside for virtual voting.

Devinder Kapoor, the lead poll worker at Tom Bradley International Hall’s center, said the workers have to break down every machine each night and put them back together the next morning – even though many of the machines did not get used on the weekend due to low foot traffic.

Analisa Jugan, a fourth-year human biology and society student who also cast her ballot at Ackerman Union, said she thinks many young people are uninformed about the voting process. She added that she noticed every time she votes, the majority of people who turn out to vote are ages 65 and older.

Jugan also said she thinks there should be more education in schools about voting to increase youth turnout, adding that she believes in the power that young voters hold.

“When you think about that potential, all the things we believe in that we want to happen, if we all voted I think that definitely can have an impact,” Jugan said.

Not all voting centers were easy to access, however, especially for voters who are not UCLA students.

Kapoor said he felt that the Tom Bradley International Hall center was hard to access, adding that the center has received complaints about it being difficult to find.

Some students from outside Los Angeles County choose to change their voting registration to be able to vote in LA during their time at UCLA. William Russell, a second-year sociology student from Sacramento, cast his ballot at Ackerman Union and said he felt the need to vote on issues that affect him while he’s in LA.

Remy Feldman, a fourth-year psychology and sociology student who voted at Ackerman Union, said the language used on the ballots was unclear for her to understand, which made it difficult to completely know what she was voting for. However, despite the difficulty, Feldman said she still feels a strong sense of responsibility to vote.

“I feel like it’s my duty to vote if I have the opportunity to. Not everyone does, and I want to take advantage of that and vote on behalf of those who might not have the ability to,” she said.

Contributing reports from Armaan Salahuddin, Daily Bruin contributor.

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Gabrielle Gillette
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