Praying for guidance in West Chester

Art Carey reports:

10:55 a.m.

While wandering around looking for another polling place, I ran into three West Chester University students conducting their out Get Out the Vote campaign on the corner of High and Rosedale Streets.

They were getting lots of honks from passing motorists, and surprisingly few middle finger salutes.

Rachel Miller was one of the sign bearers.

“Its so nice to see people so involved, no matter what they’re involved with,” said Miller, a junior social work major from Havertown.

Her companion, Jerry Moore, 42, of Collegeville, is a junior who had gone back to school to major in elementary education after working at Philadelphia International Airport. Moore is father of three children, 8, 12, and 14, said he drives a school bus part-time.

"The excitement about the election is very very palpable on campus,” Moore said.

Whitney Moore, 20, a junior majoring in social work and no relation to Jerry, said her professors had asked students to take a close look at the candidates.

"They’re not telling us which party to vote for, they just want us to be informed politically,” she said, adding that she intends to vote tonight in her home neighborhood in Philadelphia .

At Wayne Hall, a coed dorm on campus, poll workers reported an "unprecedented" number of voters.  The line of voters snaked out the door for 50 yards. Campaign workers were encouraging those in line to close ranks so the line wouldn’t seem so long and discourage other voters.

Ed Bond, 76, stood outside the dorm, looking like a Chester County country squire. Bond, very spiffy in a dark blue blazer and loafers, said his wife was inside the polls checking people’s names.

“This turnout is unprecedented, which is fabulous," Bond said, as he passed out stickers that said "I Voted Today."

"I wish it would be like this all the time. Especially with all the young people here to day," Bond said.

Bond described himself as a life-long Republican who today voted Democratic.

“I didn’t abandon the Republican Party, the Republican party abandoned me," Bond said. "The country has gone totally downhill over the last eight years.”

Bond said he was particularly outraged at the amount of money spent on the war in Iraq.

A woman standing next to him Kim Bowker, 47, of West Chester, said she had never seen the polling place so crowded. Bowker, a high school teacher, has voted at Wayne Hall for 18 years.

Bowker said she still had not decided who would get her vote.  She likes McCain and Obama for different reasons, but also has reasons to distrust them both.

"I'm praying for guidance," she said before casting her ballot.