With a total of 506 ballots cast, UCF’s on-campus polling station had the highest voter turnout in the county during last week’s presidential primaries, according to official results released on March 18.
Precinct 538, UCF’s location, beat every other precinct in Orange County by almost 16.9 points with a voter turnout of 79.5 percent.
One candidate in particular picked up a clear majority.
Out of all the ballots cast, 334 went to Democratic nominee Sen. Bernie Sanders, marking a total of 87.6 percent of the votes.
Although Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Florida as a whole, political science student Daniel Robles said that Sanders has succeeded in mobilizing young voters, as reflected by UCF’s precinct results.
“He found a way to connect with the youth, which is so important because youth vote is traditionally not as high as the rest of the electorate,” Robles said. “Bernie really found a way to get us to go out and vote with his policies and sincerity. He just gets us.”
Three days before the primaries, a local dance party community called Body // Talk held a political rally — millennial style.
With more than 20 musicians, art vendors and social organizations, Bernie Fest welcomed a group of about 1,600 attendees to party in support of Sanders in Orlando’s Milk District.
After witnessing the event’s turn out, Body // Talk founder and organizer Phil Santos said that he’d be curious to see the impact of the 1,600-person party on the day of the primaries.
The election results are proof of the success of Bernie Fest’s mission.
“Our goal was really just to give people an experience that was political in nature, but fun, because so much of politics is not fun,” Santos said. “Our generation outnumbers the baby boomers by a ton, but we just straight up don’t vote. The most incredible positive impact I was hoping for is the spike in under-30 votes in Orlando, and we got that.”
In general, the Democratic Party received 75.3 percent of the vote, and 24.7 percent went toward the Republican Party.
Nikki Mariutto, president of College Democrats at UCF, said she feels that organizations’ on-campus efforts to get out the vote paid off.
“I’m really happy to see that students are starting to join the progressive movement, and that it’s finally translating to more votes,” she said.
Daniela Marin is the Entertainment Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @dan__marin or email her at DanielaM@CentralFloridaFuture.com.