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ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY Informing the campus and community since 1921 O N Volume 92, Issue 19 THE Thursday, November 1, 2012 The Political Issue WEB Election topics: — A voter’s guide to getting through this campaign Same-sex marriage Abortion Abortion Pro-Choice Pro-Life Same-sex marriage Supports Against Economy Economy $4 trillion in 12 years plan Five point plan Gun Control Second amendment rights, but not war weapons on streets Gun Control Healthcare Healthcare No new legislation for gun laws Repeal Obamacare Obamacare Jobs Jobs Five point plan for 12 million new jobs Bring overseas jobs back to U.S. Virgin voters Information provided by: OnTheIssues.Org Students prepare for first time in ballot booth Story by: Daniel McFaddin College is a time of many firsts, and voting for the President of the United States is one of those. Because the legal voting age is 18, many current ASU students have not had the chance to vote in a presidential election. According to the Pew Research Center, in the 2008 election that sent Barack Obama to the Oval Office, 18 percent of voters were between the ages of 18 and 29. Dedric Jones, a senior biology major of Marianna, is one student who will be filling out his first ballot this year. “I live in a place where roughly 80 percent of the town is below the poverty line, so a candidate who tries to help those with less influences who I decided to vote for,” Jones said. For Jones, the one candidate who has displayed this quality the most is incumbent Barack Obama. However, Jones considers him- self as more of a moderate than a Democrat. While Jones will be making the nearly 80-mile drive back to Marianna to place his vote, he doesn’t have much confidence in how Arkansas is represented in final tally for the president. “Instead of every vote counting per person, Arkansas only has (six) electoral votes, and since we choose to put all of our electorals in one vote, whoever gets the popular vote, they get the (six) delegates from us,” Jones explained. Jones, who comes from a very politically minded family, said that should keep young voters at home on Election Day. “If you vote and then things are bad, you can complain,” said Jones. “If you don’t vote and things are bad, you can’t complain because you didn’t attempt to change things.” Another first time voter is Jo- seph Anderson, a junior radio-TV major who will be his voting in his hometown of Jacksonville, 116 miles from ASU. “I think there’s a lot of pressure in that, it might just be one vote, but it does feel like it’s going to make a difference somewhere,” Anderson said. “It might not seem all that important, but if no one votes, it’s obviously not going to make a difference.” The biggest factor in Anderson’s vote is the consistency of the candidates on policies. Anderson, who doesn’t think his parents are even registered to vote, is weary of the many different viewpoints that have been flying around during this campaign season. “I think there’s a lot of strange opinions that people have that aren’t really based in much,” Anderson said. “There’s not a lot of people who have done their research and actually thought about it. A lot of people just take what the media spins off it and take that as fact.” The common theme of student answers to why college students may not be taking advantage of their first opportunity to vote was the similarities between Obama and Romney. “I feel like a lot of people feel like it’s picking the lesser of two evils so why pick one at all,” Anderson said. This was echoed by Lauren Barrett, a sophomore interdisciplinary studies major of Harrisburg. “I don’t really like the two opponents who are going up for president. I just don’t like how Obama runs America right now and I don’t think Mitt Romney is going to do very well,” Barrett said. Barrett said she has not made up her mind yet on who she will support on Election Day, but that she will be placing her vote. What matters the most to her in placing her first ballot is what the candidates will do concerning healthcare. “I’m not a real big politics person, but my grandma is really sick and I would really like to get her good healthcare,” she said. “I know that they’re not really willing to pay for things that she needs.” However, if there’s any question as to if a college student’s first vote has any bearing on them and future college students, Jones says members of his age demographic need to remember how they’re paying for their education. “Right now, too much doesn’t affect them, that they know of. If they look into policies, student loans are a big priority for candidates this election season,” Jones said. “There are candidates out there who are willing to lower them, but they can’t if you don’t vote for them.”

The Herald for Nov. 1

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