Usually the line at Edgar Allan Joe’s pushes and wraps around the lobby of Patterson Hall as students stop to grab their preferred form of caffeine between classes.
However, today the late morning crowd was noticeably thin.
“I believe people are out voting,” said Jennifer Ervin, proudly displaying her red and white Vote button on her apron. “That’s where I think they really are.”
Ervin knows the students who come in and out of the English building well. She works behind the counter as a member of the Tiger Dining Service team Monday through Friday.
Students are milling around the lobby. Speaking in hushed tones over cell phones and checking websites on their laptops.
The conversation in the short line turns to the election. “Did you vote today?” Ervin asks a faceless female student at the front of the very short line.
“Yes. It took about two hours and I had a test in my 8 o’clock class...” she responds and hands over money for her drink.
“It took me two hours this morning too,” Ervin replies.
Two students pass one another, both wearing t-shirts supporting Barack Obama. They might not know each other, but they slow and nod anyway.
Simone Liggins, 21, voted for Obama during the early voting period in Shelby County. It was her first time voting in a presidential election and the experience met her expectations.
“It feels like a personal historical moment,” she said, “I got to vote for a black man, especially after hearing your entire life that it would never happen.”
Although she doesn’t consider herself, a “political person,” she made sure to watch at least part of the presidential debates when they aired, “I didn’t want to make an uninformed decision.”
Also voting in her first presidential election, Amanda Warner, 21, waited until Election Day to cast her ballot.
“When I walked in, they asked me if it was my first time voting. “ She said. “I said yes, and two people yelled, ‘First time voter!’ and started cheering and stuff so that made me feel good.”
Unlike Liggins, Warner voted for John McCain. “I vote republican because that’s the party my morals and ethics line up with. The face of the candidate doesn’t really matter to me.”
She admits to feeling as if her candidate will not go on to become the next president.
“It won’t be the end of the world,” Warner said, “Obama is NOT the anti-Christ!”