The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



SMC hosts lecture on voting policies

Sarah Mayer | Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This week Saint Mary’s hosted Indiana University South Bend Political Science professor Elizabeth Bennion in a lecture called “What Difference Does it Make to Vote?” as a part of the College’s third Super Tuesday event.Bennion is a member of the League of Women Voters and has worked with both the Rock the Vote and Youth in the Vote campaigns intended at drawing younger voters to the polls.Beginning the lecture she asked the audience to think about the staunch differences between John McCain and Barack Obama.”The candidates have opposing philosophies and policy recommendations on the economy, health care, and national security,” she said.Bennion explained how Obama wants to increase taxes on people that make over $600,000 per year while McCain wants to cut taxes for the same people.”As women, the abortion issue obviously effects us but deeper than that there is the Equal Pay Act that gives women the opportunity to receive the same pay as men,” Bennion said. “Obama supports it, McCain does not.”Bennion said she wanted to discourage people from thinking their vote wouldn’t count because they are just one person.”Voting is a right that many citizens throw away and take for granted without thinking of all the people who fought for their right to vote,” she said.She also stated that wearing an “I voted!” sticker is a badge of honor to be proud of and that sometimes the one vote a person doesn’t think counts will work to cancel out the vote of someone else. “As ridiculous as it sounds, if your spouse, parent, brother or sister is voting for the opposite candidate you are, the incentive to vote for your candidate is just to cancel out theirs,” she said.Bennion said voters need to be better-informed.”Not knowing how an absentee ballot works or being too tired from the party last night are not excuses,” she said. “Make your voice be heard.”Every Tuesday through Election Day, Saint Mary’s will host events aimed to inform students about the issues of the election.