Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tech-nical survey

Eddie Urbina and Isaac Conway, two freshmen students from Texas Tech, were among 20 Red Raiders who left in two different groups at 4:30 a.m. from Lubbock to help run exit polls in Potter County.

Urbina and Conway, both from San Antonio, are part of a research lab at Tech called the Earl Survey, which is under the political science department. The group was hired by Potter County to survey voters not on who they voted for, but on the voting experience.

They had a table set up on the lawn of Pleasant Valley Elementary School with a form for voters to quickly fill out. The instructions are to ask every fifth voter to fill out a survey, and rotate between male and female. By 9:30 a.m., nine had filled out the survey, with two declining.

"Most people want to do it," said Conway. "We're not asking who they're voting for and it doesn't take a lot of time. The county is wanting to know how the new technology worked, how the parking was, what the lines were like -- just to see if the experience was easier and quicker."

Urbina and Conway, like all the Tech students, will be working various precincts in Potter County until the polls close at 7 p.m. Conway is missing two classes, while Urbina is missing only a math class today.

But waiting and spending time outside is nothing new to Urbina. As a pledge for fraternity Phi Kappa Psi, he camped out last Monday for five days to guarantee good seats for his fraternity brothers for the Tech-Texas football game.

"It was fun," Urbina said. "With our big win, it was worth it at the end."

Urbina even charged the field at the end.

"I was part of the dumb first wave," he said.

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