Students At Swing-State Colleges Re-Register To Make The Most Of Their Votes

Two New Jersey natives opt to vote in toss-up Pennsylvania instead of their Democratic home state.

For Katie Morris, voting in New Jersey just wasn't an option.

The 20-year-old hails from the Garden State, but she attends Villanova University in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb northwest of Philadelphia. She supports Senator John McCain for president, but she figured her vote wouldn't matter much back home.

"New Jersey tends to be Democratic, so instead of filling out an absentee ballot, I decided to re-register in Pennsylvania," Morris, a first-time voter, told MTV News, adding that most of her college friends support Senator Barack Obama. "Pennsylvania has become more of a swing state, because McCain's been campaigning very, very hard here, and I think it's awesome, because there are a lot of electoral votes to be won."

Morris says that re-registering in Pennsylvania wasn't all that hard. She's hoping her support for McCain will make a difference in the state, where the latest CNN poll shows Obama leading 51 percent to 43 percent, with 6 percent undecided.

"It's very exciting," she said as she stood in line to vote. "It's been energetic, which is surprising on a college campus, because I don't think young people tend to get as involved in politics as older people do. To see that surge of young people in the political realm is awesome. There's a good emotion in the air, and this is such a historic election. History will be made tonight, so to be able to take part in that is a great experience."

Edward Phillips, a 19-year-old Villanova student who calls Marlton, New Jersey, home, supports Obama. Like Morris, Phillips wanted his voice to be heard in Pennsylvania, where he felt it would matter more to the final result. So he re-registered there.

"I've always followed politics, ever since high school," he said. "This is the first time I've been eligible to vote, and I've been looking forward to this for a long time. It's been a really cool day."

Phillips has been helping to organize shuttle buses to and from campus so students can get to the right polling place on time. He said it was McCain's heavy campaigning at the end of the election that inspired him to make the state switch.

"I think that Obama will win Pennsylvania, but it will be close, considering McCain campaigned so hard here," he said. "I feel that for Obama to win, he has to win Pennsylvania, so it was important for me to vote here. If it swings the other way, it would be a major turning point in the election, tipping it toward McCain."

MTV News is at the polls in all 50 states — check out our coverage all day long on MTV and right here on Then, tell us why you voted! Comment below, upload video at, or text VOTE to 66333 with your first name, age, state and a comment about your experience. Your message will appear on our election map and could appear on TV today!

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