Tulane-area precinct observes 118% increase in voter participation

Deeya Patel, News Editor

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The voting precinct dominated by Tulane and Loyola Universities observed a 118% voter turnout increase between the primary election on Oct. 12. and the run-off on Nov. 16.

Along with an increase in voters, 26% more voters in the precinct voted democrat compared to the 2015 runoff. 

Czars Trinidad | Senior Staff Artist

“Over the last four years, we’ve seen a rise in progressive organizing nationwide and on Tulane’s campus in particular,” Henry Walther, president of Louisiana College Democrats, said. “Democratic votes have always been here at Tulane, we just needed to register them and get them to the polls. Thanks to student government support, we got students registered in Louisiana, and through organizations like College Democrats, we made sure everyone was informed enough to cast votes in their best interests.”

Lousiana College Democrats and Tulane College Democrats played a large role in getting out the vote, especially among students.

“Tulane College Dems was an enormous help in providing volunteers and developing a progressive voter guide to help people understand local issues,” Stone Agren, chair of the Civic Engagement Committee of the Undergraduate Student Government, said.

Brendan Cuti, political director of Lousiana College Democrats, said he was unimpressed by the participation at Tulane’s precinct during the October primary.

“I knew Tulane students were disengaged, but we had to do better than 159 votes,” Cuti said. “We were about to miss out on one of the biggest elections of 2019. But more importantly, we were basically saying we had no interest in the future of our state and city. So I talked [to] some other Tulane Dems about it and we decided we couldn’t let that happen again. And we didn’t.”

The runoff election saw 347 total votes cast in the Tulane precinct, 315 of which were for John Bel Edwards.

“It shows how much of an anomaly our jump in turnout was from primary to runoff,” Walther said. “The largest increase in the city and second biggest in the state for precincts with more than 100 people.”