On November 6, 2012 Barack Obama was re-elected as the president of the United States.
For college students in Chicago, this re-election wasn’t just national news—it was happening within a 30 minutes train ride from most campuses. The focus of most students was on voting, finishing class to watch the results and, for some, watching the president himself accept his re-election.
Here is the story told through tweets and first-hand accounts.
It's Election Day! Don't forget to vote!
— DePaul Newsroom (@DePaulNewsroom) November 6, 2012
As Election Day dawned, Twitter lit up with voting encouragment, voting controversies and strange voting anecdotes. RedEye Chicago wrote about unconventional polling places (such as a bowling alley and bar), the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about one mother-to-be voting on her way to giving birth and controversy erupted over people Instagramming their vote. Students across the Chicago and the country voted, many for the first time. For one Chicago college student, Laura Kujava, a senior at Loyola University Chicago and ChiU writer, her voting process missed one key factor.
Absentee ballot was in last Wednesday... Missing out on the voting mania. How do I get a "I Voted" button? #ChiUVote
— Laura Kujava (@LauraKujava) November 6, 2012
As the day continued, college students like Loyola senior Britt Logan began focusing on election results, not only at a national level but also on local issues. In Logan’s case, the Minnesota marriage amendment was on her watch list.
— Britt Logan (@britt_elianna) November 6, 2012
The election coverage went on through the night, with major networks calling each state and analyzing every new number. Some Chicago college students had a chance to cover the election from the front lines at McCormick Place. One DePaul student tweeted the mid-election action.
Crowd at McCormick cheers loudly as FL result shows Obama at 50% and Romney at 49% on the big screen #dpuelection
— Brianna Kelly (@bkelly91) November 7, 2012
Finally, around 11:20 p.m., CNN called the election for Obama. Romney conceded, and Obama took the stage in Chicago to deliver a victory speech. Here is a video capturing those moments from DePaul students working with the Red Line Project covering the election.
The Daily Northwestern reported on the crowd in Thompson Plaza celebrating the win, and reported some student responses on the Daily Decision blog.
Throughout the day, social media sites were overwhelmed with political statuses and tweets. One Loyola senior said though she usually resists the urge to post her two cents, the results prompted her to add her simple reaction on social media.
@chicago_u For the most part I tried to keep my political views off Twitter. But tonight, I just could not hold back. So happy, so proud.
— Akanksha Jayanthi (@akanksha_j14) November 7, 2012
Abby Donaldson, a senior at Loyola University Chicago, was present at McCormick Place when Obama won. She said the atmosphere was unforgettable.
“It was really amazing to be there and feel like a part of the victory,” she said. “You could really feel a sense of companionship between everyone there. I am a really big Obama supporter and I have been since he ran in '08, but whether you're an Obama fan or not, being there and listening to him rally the entire country together was inspirational.”
Thanks to everyone who tweeted at @Chicago_U and #ChiUVote during the election! Be sure to follow us for more Chicago college coverage. What did you think about the election? Be sure to let us know through Twitter, Facebook or the comments below!