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PHOTOS: Casting votes and catching Pokemon

Students play Pokemon Go at the polls

The+group+searches+for+Pokemon+while+waiting+for+other+group+members+to+finish+voting.+
The group searches for Pokemon while waiting for other group members to finish voting.

The group searches for Pokemon while waiting for other group members to finish voting.

Matt Gambill

Matt Gambill

The group searches for Pokemon while waiting for other group members to finish voting.

Emily Osterholz, Arts & Life Editor

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Kellyn Hoffert didn’t want to drive 50 minutes all the way from NKU to Fairfield, her hometown, by herself.

That’s how it started. Pokémon Go To The Polls was organized by Hoffert and Marisa Yerace to help students get to different polling locations while also adding a little more excitement; finding local areas that have pokestops and hunting for rare Pokémon.

Hoffert, a junior biology major, said there’s a Jungle Jim’s close to the voting polls near her house and is a great spot for catching Pokemon. Plus, she was able to vote.

“I’m super lazy to absentee vote and I knew I wouldn’t do it,” Hoffert said. “So I was trying to get people to hold me accountable. I was like ‘Who wants to come to Fairfield with me to vote?’ That’s kind of how it started. It just turned into the perfect combination.”

Hoffert said that although Pokemon hunting is always fun, her favorite part of the trip was actually getting to vote.

“I was very happy that my friends came along and was grateful that they didn’t mind driving with me,” Hoffert said. “I loved voting, it was a very special experience.”

Although Pokemon hunting is always fun, Kellyn Hoffert said her favorite part of the trip was actually getting to vote.

Matt Gambill
Although Pokemon hunting is always fun, Kellyn Hoffert said her favorite part of the trip was actually getting to vote.

Marisa Yerace, a junior English major, said it was an opportunity to exercise her rights while doing something fun that takes the stress away.  

“It has definitely distracted me from stressing about the elections,” Yerace said. “I voted on Sunday so I just wanted to not think about it for a little bit.”

Yerace said that once she realized NKU was closed for Election Day a light bulb went off her in head.

“We’re always looking for excuses to get out and have Pokémon Go meet ups, as nerdy as that sounds,” Yerace said. “I feel like I can make sure that people who are going, have voted. They don’t have any excuses.”

Yerace said that some people might not have the time or transportation on Election Day to get to the polls. Also some people might have forgotten to vote early or fill out absentee. By inviting people to this event Yerace was trying to give those students a hand.

“They had all that early voting and absentee information and then the day of, we arranged a carpool,” Yerace said. “That’s something we tried to make clear early on.

“Voting is the first priority of this outing, even though Pokémon is going to take up most of the day.”

The Journey

At 10 a.m. Yerace began setting up the trip. She arranged for the group to meet at a building called the ‘Treehouse,’ which is Vine & Branches’, a community of Christians at NKU, meeting location.

The cozy building filled with the smell of freshly brewed coffee and fluffy pancakes, as Yerace began getting everyone ready for the journey.

Coffee was being served at 10 a.m. as Pokemon Go To The Polls starts their journey.

Emily Osterholz
Coffee was being served at 10 a.m. as Pokemon Go To The Polls starts their journey.

With caffeine in their veins and food in their stomachs, the group was ready to go to vote and hunt for some Pokémon.

Their first stop was to Fairfield where Hoffert was voting.

She emerged from the polls victorious and ran to the group who cheered and high-fived her. A glowing smile she said, “Clinton all the way.”

Next, the gang went to Jungle Jim’s a few blocks down from the voting polls, in search for some big Pokémon and to take the edge off.

Along with Yerace and Hoffert, there were about 7 other students who went on the trip. After Fairfield the students went to Blue Ash, Clifton, the Levee and OTR.

Members gather for a group photo, wanting to remember this special experience.

Matt Gambill
Members gather for a group photo, wanting to remember this special experience.

Nate Larwa, a freshman music education major, was on a mission to get enough candy’s to evolve his Charmander and to support his fellow voters.

“I voted three weeks ago and was super excited to make history,” Larwa said. “First female president, and she’s not a bag of a trash.”

Although Clinton is not who Larwa wanted in the primary, he’s okay with the decision he had to make and feels she’s more than qualified for the position.

“My entire thing this whole election has been vote for your conscience, vote for who you think will do the job best and I’m not going to judge you for it,” Larwa said. “You have different views that’s okay, that’s fantastic, that’s what makes America already great. I hold that close to my heart. The thing about Clinton is that she recognizes that and it’s a huge part of her campaign, it’s trying to unify that.”

Aubrey Williams, a sophomore biology major, also voted earlier on and she was appreciative that she was invited because she got to experience what it was like.  

“I didn’t get to experience going to the polls, so with this group I got to see what it was like and what they different locations are like,” Williams said. “I think just this election, in general, millennials are waking up a little bit and are realizing the importance of voting. They’re seeing that this election is historic and we need to vote to have a say in who is going to be president and is going to be when we will be possibly graduated.”

Williams said that she enjoyed going out with a group of friends and doing something productive and worthwhile.

“Mashing two, kind of opposite, but passion things, like voting and Pokémon, is a great way to get more students to jump on the voting bandwagon and we feel like we’re actually being a part of something important,” Williams said.

Matt Gambill

Pokemon Go To The Polls began at 10 a.m. and finished at about 8 p.m.

 

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PHOTOS: Casting votes and catching Pokemon