Voters at PHS share stories

 J.W. ‘Yawn’ Vanlohuzian said he has worked on elections on and off for 20 years. This year, Vanlohuzian, who is an election judge, volunteered at the Paschal High School voting station for the first time.

Vanlohuzian said he works elections because he enjoys meeting new people and enjoys being able to help them in the voting booths. This election, Vanlohuzian believes the voting process is being made simpler.

“They’ve updated the procedures and made a little more explanation on forms,” Vanlohuzian said. “They’ve put full-size pictures with descriptions on how to fill things out. It’s just easier this time.”

Despite an easier time in voting booths, there are the typical questions and small “bumps” that voters run into. Many voters often lose their Voter I.D. card, have trouble knowing which precinct to vote, and some first-time voters often still need help using the machines, Vanlohuzian said.

As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 505 voters had their votes cast and counted. This is a number that Vanlohuzian said is a little less than half of what they expect to come through at that point.

Vanlohuzian added that the high number of early-voters is likely a contributor to lower voting numbers.

Steve Barker, who worked the Paschal polls as a clerk, is a TCU graduate and “semi-retired” Fort Worth businessman. Barker is a resident in the 76109 area code, and has been since 1966. This is Barker’s second time to work with elections.

“I’ve seen that so many people have done it for all the years, so I thought to do my part,” Barker said.

Barker said he is very impressed with the steady turnout of voters to the Paschal polls and although voters may not seem “visibly” excited, he believes that they are.

“They know it’s an important election,” Barker said.

Jennifer Larsen, a junior at TCU studying dance, voted in her first election on Tuesday. In 2008, Larsen was only 17 years old. Larsen said she looked up policies on different politicians before heading to the polls.

“I just wanted to make an informed decision on who I voted for,” Larsen said. “If you’re voting blindly for somebody then you don’t know what you’re believing in.”

Larsen believes that casting a vote in the election is very necessary.

“I just felt kind of important, like I can actually put my input into the government now,” Larsen said. “I kind of felt a sense of responsibility; like if I don’t vote then I can’t complain.”

Although no formal groups were assembled for Paschal students who are of age to vote, Vanlohuzian said students who want to participate were more than welcome to stand in line and cast a vote with all other voters.