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WSU students stage dueling election demonstrations

By Tyler Delong Murrow News Service

PULLMAN _ Washington State University students gathered on the Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall Wednesday in protest and in support of Tuesday night’s election results.

Students stood on rocks, on steps and in some cases on each other and chanted, debated and held signs that ranged from celebratory promises of change to profanities and sentiments of regret.

Elle Harris, a senior elementary education major, said the election results came as a surprise to her and she wanted to make her voice be heard – her sign read “You Can’t Unify w/ Hate.”

“It’s been a rough morning,” Harris said. “We’re here just out here expressing our opinion and a lot of people are being vocal about it.”

Harris noted she and her peers were exercising their free-speech rights peacefully.

Domenic Sosa, a sophomore studying political science, liked the fact students were expressing their opinions, but worried that onlookers might get the wrong idea about the level of support for either candidate on campus.

“There were more people protesting Trump, then there were Trump supporters,” he said. “I don’t feel like that is an accurate representation of the demographic on campus.”

Democrat Hillary Clinton won about 2,800 votes on Tuesday, or about 48.6 percent of the Whitman County vote. Republican Donald J. Trump won about 2,600 votes, or about 44 percent of the Whitman county vote.

Melanie Morris, a junior psychology major, said it made sense to her that Whitman was the only county in Eastern Washington to vote for Clinton.

“A lot of students are registered in Whitman County to vote,” she said. “It’s generally a college-educated population.” She added that their vote was reflective of Whitman County.

Leslie Rocha, a senior majoring in political science and criminal justice, agreed with Morris and said, “There were a lot of things that I didn’t expect, but I thought it was a good turnout.”

Whitman County actually yielded the second-lowest voter turnout in Washington state for Tuesday’s election, based on the ballots counted so far, at about 28 percent of registered voters, according to the Office of the Secretary of State.

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