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Noisemakers, cookies and T-shirts greet voters in Harrisonburg

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Bridget Manley
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Godwin Hall, the polling location on the JMU campus

WMRA’s Bridget Manley checked in this morning at polling stations in Harrisonburg and on the JMU campus.

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Bridget Manley
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Students from the JMU Center for Civic Engagement hand out cookies and T-shirts to voters

At James Madison University’s new polling location, Godwin Hall, poll workers shake a noisemaker and cheer for every first-time voter that comes to cast their first ballot.

[sound of poll workers cheering]

Kira Newman is the Chief Election Officer for the JMU precinct. She says that while the morning had been slow, voting picks up between classes as the day goes on.

NEWMAN: JMU is slow and steady, with little bursts of energy between classes.

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Bridget Manley
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Students vote at Godwin Hall on the JMU campus

JMU’s Center for Civic Engagement is outside Godwin Hall all day today, handing out cookies, buttons, tee shirts and encouraging students to vote.

Kara Dillard is the Interim Associate Director for the Center for Civic Engagement.

DILLARD: Our goal is to get over 300 JMU students who are registered here at Godwin to come vote today. That would be above what the voter turnout was for 2020.

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Bridget Manley
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City Council candidate Dany Fleming greets voters outside Stone Spring Elementary School

At Stone Spring Elementary School, City Council Candidate Dany Fleming was greeting voters. He had been to Spotswood Elementary and Waterman Elementary Schools earlier that morning.

FLEMING: We are seeing a pretty steady flow, it was interesting this morning, it wasn’t as high as it often is, a little bit less, but this is a mid-term, so we will see. Our early vote was a great turnout, right? It was really high, it was four times what we had four years ago.

City democrats, who are keeping unofficial voter totals at precincts across the city, say over 2,000 people had cast their ballots today by 10am.

Bridget Manley graduated with a degree in Mass Communications from Frostburg State University, and has spent most of her adult life working as a morning show producer and reporter for WCBC Radio in Cumberland, MD and WNAV in Annapolis, MD. She moved to Harrisonburg seven years ago and is also a reporter for The Harrisonburg Citizen. When she’s not reporting the news Bridget is the Manager of Operations for Rivercrest Farm and Event Center in Shenandoah, VA, and she also hosts a podcast that shares parenting stories called Birds In A Tree.