When the presidential campaign called for the nation to vote, the youth populace responded by breaking records in terms of voter registration and turnouts. 

With many ISU students voting for the first time, there was passion in the air as many students gathered at bipartisan watch parties for the College Republicans and College Democrats.

For Shaun McCarthy, freshman in engineering, the 2012 presidential election was the first time he became interested in politics, he said. 

McCarthy said he visited the bipartisan watch party hosted in Linden Hall to get both sides of the story.

A concern of McCarthy’s is students could be misinformed, but bipartisan parties allow students to see what the other party thinks.

McCarthy and several other students were joined by Luke Russert, NBC News correspondent. 

Russert chose to spend Election Day in Ames because of Iowa’s atmosphere during the election season and the spirit of politics fostered at Iowa State.

“It’s exciting to be on a college campus, especially one as large as Iowa State and one that has such a rich history participating, not only in Iowa politics but also national politics,” Russert said.

Kyle Etzel, junior in pre-business and president of College Republicans, said students should utilize their right to vote in every election, not just once every four years.

From the College Democrats’ viewing party, Kylie Thompson, junior in dietetics, said it is important for students to vote in this election because the four years Barack Obama has been in office have been leading up to something.

Russert said he enjoyed seeing student get involved. 

“It’s neat to meet so many kids who are so concerned ... about the future of the country and so engaged in a civil manner,” Russert said. “It’s heartwarming to see that.”

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