First-time voters describe their experiences

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COLUMBIA — The election is not just a big day for candidates but for first-time voters as well. 

Several showed up to vote at Memorial Union on the University of Missouri campus and around Columbia. 

"I felt really good," Tiffany Okoye said. "It's the first step toward change and I believe that voting is essential." 

Okoye said research played a big part in her preparation before going to the polls, not only on the national candidates but the local candidates as well. 

"I think it's important to have a say in the legislation that goes on around us," she said. 

Lauren Richter said the voting process was much easier than she thought it would be. 

"I expected it to be really crowded and hectic. I even expected some people to be voicing their opinions outside of the voting places but it was nothing like that," Richter said. 

She said she voted because it's a way to have her voice be heard.

Election Judge Thaine Damman said he was happy to see both new and old voters at the polls. Damman is an election judge in Memorial Union on the University of Missouri campus.

"I am pleased and excited to see all these young voters who are full of energy," Damman said. "Voting is the basis of democracy." 

Damman said there had been a high turnout throughout the course of the election.

Around 770 ballots had been cast by 2 p.m. at Memorial Union. 

Polls close Tuesday at 7 p.m.