With early voting in full swing, the Center for Political Engagement has been sending out the bat signal and also many emails in an attempt to get as many Davidson students voting as possible. The voter shuttle system has allowed for many students who do not have cars on campus to get free transportation to the polling place in Cornelius. However, in order to run the shuttle system, volunteers were needed, and not everyone has their large vehicle license with the college. One intrepid volunteer, Horatio Ballotsen, ‘23, stepped up to the challenge and agreed to drive shuttles for multiple shifts every day throughout early voting.
“I thought, what better way to contribute to this ‘great experiment’ that we call American democracy than driving college kids to the polls while they Google the Dems endorsement list on the way,” Ballotsen said when asked what first motivated him to volunteer. Ballotsen recounted that his first trip was largely a group of first years who had not ever voted before. “I wanted to show them how things are done, walk them through real easy, you know?” Ballotsen said. “It can be intimidating walking into that busy room with all of those machines and stuff. Anyway, I still needed to vote, so I said, hey, you know what, just come watch me do it and I can show you how it’s done.”
Ballotsen proceeded to vote every single time he drove a new group to the polls. “Every group kept asking me to walk them through it. I just want to make the people happy,” Ballotsin said when asked about what kept him going back. “Plus, the van gets hot and stuffy just sitting in there waiting for people to hurry up and vote already. I’d much rather go in and at least get a sticker for my time.”
Apparently, students really appreciated the extra support. With Ballotsen signed up to drive several shuttle shifts each day, his performance became a multiple-times-a-day extravaganza. “I’m kind of a rockstar at voting,” Ballotsen said. “Not to be egotistical, but I run that place.”
When asked if any of the polling place volunteers noticed that he was always there, voting repeatedly, Ballotsen said, “Nope! But at least one older lady would say to me every single time, ‘Thank you for voting, young man!’”
We here at The Yowl sympathize with the aging community of the greater Davidson area, which must think that young folks have a revitalized interest in electoral politics like they’ve never seen before. To be fair, one singular young folk really does.