In an election year filled with uncertainty and unpredictability, there’s one thing that’s for sure: UCF Knights showed up. The voting precinct located at the Live Oak Center on UCF’s main campus passed 100% voter turnout — the only precinct to do so in Orange County.
UCF students and student athletes alike crossed “exercising their right” on their calendars on Tuesday. UCF Athletics’ “2020 Vote” campaign featured athletes from UCF football, men’s and women’s basketball, rowing, men’s soccer, men’s golf, volleyball, track and field, softball and women’s tennis who explained why their vote matters this year.
“Make your voice heard. Every vote counts and this election is very important for the future of our country,” said men’s soccer midfielder Beto Ydrach.
“I voted because it’s my civic duty,” said men’s golfer Jordan Sarhaddi.
“I’m a first time voter, and I know my future depends on it,” said softball pitcher Alea White.
“UCF football team went 1-0 today in going to vote today,” said football running back Greg McCrae. McCrae led the team’s initiative in helping get the players registered to vote before the Oct. 6 deadline.
Its a privilege to help my teammates register to vote. Proud of them ! pic.twitter.com/7cyq0wnEKx— Greg McCrae (@NikeheadGreg) October 1, 2020
Come Election Day, voting was the “only team activity” on the calendar.
Former UCF football center Jordan Johnson said it’s important for his former teammates to use their voice and set an example for others in the community.
“Voting is important because it gives a voice to those of us who have been requesting changes in the way that we are governed as Americans,” Johnson said. “It’s amazing to see my guys using their platforms to try to make a difference in our country by encouraging others to vote.”
UCF men’s basketball also made it a team effort to hit the polls on Tuesday. Guard Levy Renaud said a couple of players mailed in their votes and some dropped off their votes. But they all did it together.
“We went as a team because we thought it was all important for our voices to be heard,” Renaud said.
We voted. Now it’s your turn to make your voice heard. pic.twitter.com/mii4qk1lEN— UCF Men’s Hoops (@UCF_MBB) November 3, 2020
UCF teams including men’s basketball, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, baseball, track and field and cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, rowing, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, volleyball, KnightMoves and the cheer squad announced on National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 29) that 100% of the eligible student athletes were registered to vote.
That’s over 400 student athletes who were eligible to cast a ballot on Election Day.
Precinct 538 reported 795 votes at its polling location that was anticipating 754 voters, according to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office. That’s 105.44% voter turnout.
“It’s not a glitch,” officials said. For those who were already registered to vote in Florida by the Oct. 6 deadline, there’s no additional deadline for updating their address before the polls close on Election Day.
“So, after the registration deadline, either during early voting or today, there were some Florida voters that updated their address, putting them in precinct 538, and they voted!” officials said on Tuesday.
Precinct 538 on @UCF campus is reporting 104.64% voter turnout, per @OCFElections.— Daniella Medina (@danimedinanews) November 3, 2020
It’s possible, due to voters who changed their address and voted in precinct 538. If you’re registered in FL, there’s no deadline for updating your address after Oct. 6. #UCF #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/eSoZweHhiw
Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for the Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.