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Students consider midterm elections

Anna Boarini | Monday, November 1, 2010

Junior Drew Webster said he feels like he’ll pay more attention to politics and voting when he is older.

“I know there are elections, but being away at school, I don’t really pay attention to Chicago politics,” junior Drew Webster said.

Midterm elections begin tomorrow. Some students said they are politically aware, but they have gotten caught up in school and being away from home. While most said they know there is an upcoming election, some noted they haven’t really thought about the issues.

“I’m registered and voted before, but it didn’t even cross my mind [this year],” sophomore Ella Bergmann said.

Some students said they have found that being away from their home states doesn’t just remove them from the issues; it makes the process of voting more difficult. Registering to vote with an absentee ballot is different in each state, but most of the deadlines fall in mid-October, according to longdistancevoter.org.

“I didn’t vote because I didn’t get all my paperwork done. I wasn’t registered before this,” freshman Rayven Moore said.

Early voting is also an option for some students attending school outside their home states. However, not every state offers this and many states require the votes to be cast in specific locations.

“I voted early, but there was some drama,” freshman Amy Klopfenstein said. “They didn’t get my registration, so I filled out an emergency registration form so I could vote.”

The students who voted were not just looking at the issues; they said also considered candidates and political parties into their decisions.

“I wrote in my votes for senate and governor, because I didn’t like either candidate,” Klopfenstein said. “I also voted for a few issues that are important to me.”

Other students that voted have kept up on what is going on in their state politics regarding certain issues and are looking forward to see the outcome on Election Day.

” I voted absentee for California,” junior Ryan Geraghty said. “I’m interested to see what happens with [Proposition 19, the ballot proposition for legalizing some marijuana use].”

Some students said that while being educated on the issues and candidates is important, the campaign ads candidates run are annoying. While many were home over break, they said seemed to be bombarded with political ads at every turn.

“I’ll just be happy to see the campaign ads stop,” Geraghty said. “California’s been called out on the amount of money spent on and the content of the ads. It made me want to vote for a third party just to spite [Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry] Brown and [Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg] Whitman.”