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Students Lead Record Local Turnout

A record number of voters, including a record turnout of students, went to the polls in Hiram Village balloting in the Nov. 6 election, eclipsing the records set in 2008.

Ed Frato-Sweeney, Coordinator of Citizenship Education at Hiram College, said more than 250 students voted in the Hiram precinct, although the exact number will not be known until provisional ballots are counted in about two weeks. In all, the turnout in the Hiram precinct exceeded the 511 voters who cast votes in 2008.

“All day I kept hearing from people about how wonderful it was to see so many students voting,” he said. “At one point in the voting room, there were four Hiram students voting, and the line was another 10 people, all Hiram students.”

Preliminary tallies show Hiram voters went with Democrats in a big way with President Barack Obama, winning 77 percent of the votes in the Hiram precinct (surpassing his own 75 percent mark in 2008, and far outdoing the 66 percent cast for Sen. John Kerry in 2004), while 22 percent favored former Governor Mitt Romney.

In the hotly contested race for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown hauled in 76 percent of the Hiram votes, while Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel polled 24 percent of the vote.

Hiram voters, including students also looked favorably on the Crestwood School levy, with 84 percent voting for the levy and 16 percent voting against. The levy passed comfortably district-wide, which will provide the school district with “new money” for the first time in 12 years.

“At the end of the night, the poll workers were very complimentary of the students, saying they were patient, knowledgable, and determined to vote,” Frato-Sweeney said.  “They were impressed.”

Hiram’s record turnout is consistent with trends nationwide involving young voters. Most experts expected the enthusiasm of young voters in 2008 would not be repeated, but according to exit polls, 19 percent of the electorate was under 30, a point higher than in 2008.

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