Photos and story by Angele Latham / Contributing Writer
MTSU students and Murfreesboro residents flocked to the polls as the Nov. 6 Election Day got underway. With seemingly endless lines of people waiting to cast their ballots, there was hope for an influential voter turnout.
In an effort to encourage better student voter turnout, the MTSU School of Journalism and Strategic Media hosted the “Walk to the Polls” event Tuesday afternoon. The Student Government Association also lent a hand, leading a second group to the polls located at the Central Magnet School.
Ken Paulson, the dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU and president of the First Amendment Center, joined students as they gathered for the first portion of the walk.
“One of the goals in a good college is to make sure students are prepared for successful careers as professionals,” he said. “At least as important as that is to make sure they turn out as successful citizens. And if you don’t actually exercise your right to vote, you’ve opted out of being a good citizen.”
Lamont Lockridge, a student at MTSU, is determined to be as good of a citizen as he can.
“You gotta be the change you want to see,” Lockridge said, after stepping out of the polls and proudly brandishing his “I voted” sticker. “I came out to vote because I recently discovered that the number one provider of mental health care in the deep South is the prison system instead of our hospitals. So I want to come out and vote on things that make a change, like getting more hospitals added. Things like that- just to have my voice heard.”
Polls closed across Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m, leaving students to anxiously wait to see if their voices were heard. For continued coverage of the event, stay tuned with MTSU Sidelines on Twitter.