Getting out the vote!

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Posted Thu, Nov 6, 2014

Regardless of what political side you are on, voting is a powerful way for student’s voices to be heard and educating students who don’t understand who or what to vote for is important for upcoming generations and the direction of our country. Here’s what Aurarians had to say….

MSUD Students Madeline Weber (Right) and Torii Dague (Left) say voting is a civic duty.

MSUD students Madeline Weber (Right) and Torii Dague (Left) say voting is a civic duty. [Photos by Aaron Lambert]

Voting as Important as Ever on MSU Denvers Campus
By Aaron Lambert
DENVER, Auraria Campus – Countless student voters took to the polls on Election Day to exercise their precious right to vote in an election that’s tackling several key Colorado issues.

In addition to the heated battle between Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. challenger Cory Gardner for Colorado’s Senate seat, several other issues appeared on ballots that voters found equally as important, if not more so.

MSUD student Felicia Speranske is concerned with environmental issues

MSUD student Felicia Speranske is concerned with environmental issues.

Felicia Speranske, an MSU Denver student, said that environmental issues were some of the more important issues for voters to consider while voting.

Madeline Weber and Torii Dague, both students at MSU Denver, stressed the importance of voting.

“It’s our civil duty,” Weber said.

Weber and Dague said that the issues most important to them were Amendment 67, which deals with personhood and women’s rights, Proposition 105, which calls for proper labeling of GMOs and Aurora issue 2D, which is seeking to repeal Colorado’s current pit bull ban.

Kate Cohen, a representative with the Colorado Public Research Group says their goal is getting students to the polls.

Kate Cohen, a representative with the Colorado Public Research Group says their goal is getting students to the polls. [Photos by Brandyn Federico]

Educating students on voting is working slowly but not completely
By Brandyn Federico
DENVER, Auraria Campus – Auraria students are being asked left and right if they are voting, but some don’t believe they are educated enough to make an informed decision.

A table was set up outside on a sidewalk at the Auraria campus around 3 p.m., where pizza in stacked boxes was getting cold, and voters were asked weather or not they voted in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

“Our goal is getting students to the polls,” said Kate Cohen, a representative with the Colorado Public Research Group. “We are directing people to the Tivoli where Denver residents can place their ballot. We’re actually seeing a lot of students with the voted sticker.”

"I wasn’t going to vote.  I’m not educated enough to know what’s going on." -- Auraria student Trent Johnson said.

“I wasn’t going to vote. I’m not educated enough to know what’s going on.” — Auraria student Trent Johnson

According to Cohen, the job of the Colorado Public Research Group is to educate students on current politics and get them to fill out the ballots.

No more than a block away, a student named Trent Johnson,18, sat on a bench with his friend.

“I wasn’t going to vote. I’m not educated enough to know what’s going on,” Johnson said. “I haven’t looked much into politics.”

Johnson said he will eventually vote in the future, but now isn’t the time even though he is 18-years-old.

Many students said it was their civic right to vote and that they voted because they can.

Many students said it was their civic right to vote, and that they voted because they can. [Photo by Kelsey Hammond]

To Vote or Not to Vote
Kelsey Hammond
DENVER, Auraria Campus –Walking around Auraria campus on Nov. 4, you might have been asked, “Did you vote today?” Many were dawning I Voted stickers on their chest and backpack.

Nine out of 11 students were randomly interviewed and asked if they voted or not and why they did or didn’t. One student wasn’t a legal student in the United States, the other student was in the wrong county and wasn’t able.

“I voted because of [Amendment] 67. I wanted to vote no. I didn’t vote on the amendments I didn’t know much about,” said Auraria student Michael Mahan.

Many students said it was their civic right to vote and that they voted because they can.

“I want my voice heard,” said Auraria student Madison Cowan.

Teachers even handed out extra credit if the students went to the voting poll.

“I got extra credit from one of my teachers as well so I thought why not. Extra credit by doing something I would have done already,” said another student Alexa Peterson.

The overall consensus was many students at Auraria campus took time out of their life to either stop and vote at the poll or send their votes in. Students don’t have to have a reason to vote, but the ability to vote seemed reason enough.

Marjire Washington hopes that Amendment 67 goes through.

GOP worker Marjire Washington hopes that Amendment 67 goes through. [Photos by Melissa Romero]

Important Issues Bring Out Some Auraria Voters 
By Melissa Romero
DENVER, Auraria campus —  Midterm elections often reflect a much lower turnout than primary presidential elections, usually to the detriment of the Democratic Party.

One reason for this may be a lack of apathy among voters in relation to the issues.

Auraria student, Chue Fue recently turned 18, and said that he doesn’t really know why he didn’t vote. “I know the issues are important, but it’s really hard to choose.”

On the other side of the isle, others boasted about turning in their ballots more than a week ago. Marjire Washington, who works for the GOP, says that Amendment 67 was very important to her. “I think that abortion should be limited,” she said. “I don’t think that they should get rid of the day after pill, but I don’t think that a woman should be able to go five or six weeks and then decide to kill it.”

Chue Fue just tuned 18 and did not vote

Auraria student Chue Fue just tuned 18 and did not vote.

Other issues on the ballot important to the public of Auraria campus were GMO labeling and the senate race.

Still others, like Nigerian Immigrant Enow Tanyi, were not partial to any issue in particular. “I don’t care about the issues. I just did my duty and mailed in my vote,” Tanyi says.

Regardless of which political party you subscribe to, the right to vote is one that should be exercised during primary and midterm elections alike.

Phadre Earl voted and is hoping others will vote as well.

MSUD student Phadre Earl voted and is hoping others will vote as well. [Photos by Joseph Rios]

“Elections Heat Up In Colorado”
By Joseph Rios
DENVER, Auraria Campus — Millions of Coloradans are preparing to vote in an election that promises to have a huge impact on the state’s future. Students throughout the Auraria campus have been urging other students for weeks to turn in their ballets, some have even bribed potential voters with donuts in return for registering to vote.

One of the biggest and most important election races is the vote for Colorado senator. The matchup is a race between Republican candidate Cory Gardner as well as Democrat candidate Mark Udall. Both have flooded televisions with seemingly nonstop commercials. Udall also visited the Auraria Campus for one more final push in hopes of gaining more votes.

MSUD student Steve Hanley said he casted his vote.

MSUD student Steve Hanley said he casted his vote.

Another very important factor that will be determined during election season is the race for Governor between current Colorado governor of the Democrat Party John Hickenlooper and Republican Party opponent Bob Beauprez.

On Election Day millions of people are expected to vote. However, the question always is “did you vote?” It is a question that students have been asked repetitively throughout campus.

“I voted this morning and hope others will do the same,” this coming from Phadre Earl, a student at Metro State. Steve Hanley, another student at Metro State was pleased to say that he voted as well.

Nancy Stalf, Academic Department Coordinator of the Journalism Department voted 1½ weeks ago and dropped the ballot off at the box at Union RTD Station.

Nancy Stalf, Academic Department Coordinator of the Journalism and Technical Communications Department, dropped her ballot off at the box at Union RTD Station. [Photos by Laurence Washington]

Kip Wotkyns, Journalism Professor, opened his office door and said that he voted by mail two weeks ago.

Kip Wotkyns, journalism professor, opened his office door and said that he voted by mail two weeks ago.

Voter Behavior at Metropolitan State University
By Pamela Barcheski
DENVER, Auraria Campus – A brisk survey of the Metro State campus on Nov 4, 2014, voting day, gives us a glimpse of the voting habits of students and staff. Nancy Stalf, Academic Department Coordinator of the Journalism Department voted 1½ weeks ago and dropped the ballot off at the box at Union RTD Station.

Kip Wotkyns, journalism professor, opened his office door and said that he voted by mail two weeks ago. A door-to-door survey is like trick-or-treating, but you get information rather than candy.

Jennifer Gregory, a student at Aurania, voted by mail one week ago.

Rudy Houde was in his elevator repair uniform as he slowly spelled out his last name. Houde voted by mail two weeks ago.

Officer Joe Lowe, sitting on his bike watching the campus, said he voted one week ago by mail.

Auraria students Joella Baumann voted one week ago at the Tivoli Center. Juana Soto voted one week ago by mail in ballot. Kristen Martin voted by mail two weeks ago. “This gets you out of your comfort zone,” she said.

Cindy Villar, working at the “Have Any Questions?” library table, could not vote yet because she is not a U.S. citizen. She is working on that. Right now she is a Mexican citizen.

Auraria student Skye Walsh said she is done voting and just needs to drop her ballot off. Walsh just returned from Florida so she that could vote.

Most of the people on campus appear to have voted. The percentage of Aurarians voted is likely greater than in the general public. Doing your civic duty grants a feeling of satisfaction to those who voted. It makes a person proud.

Justin Styles, far left and Dillon Wagner second from right. [Photo by Nancy Layne]

UCD student Justin Styles (left) voted, however, his friend UCD student Dillion Wagner (second from right) didn’t cast a ballot because he didn’t register. [Photo by Nancy Layne]

Lack of education on ballot issues causes many Auraria students to not vote
By Nancy Layne
DENVER, Auraria Campus — Every election year winners and victors congratulate themselves on beating their opposing candidate for office. Despite efforts from organizations, such as Project Vote and Rock the Vote, a surprisingly large amount of Auraria students did not vote.

Alex Gamelin, a junior at University of Colorado at Denver (UCD) said, “I typically do vote, but because I’m off working and attending school full-time, I didn’t have time to read the information to have a full knowledge of what or who I was voting for.”

Gamelin says he has high hopes for the country’s future. “Yeah you’re always supposed to have high hopes. I still have concerns, but you gottta assume there are a few good politicians left.”

Dillon Wagner who is a freshman at UCD said, “I didn’t vote because I’m not registered. I didn’t register because I just didn’t have enough time. I am happy with the results of the election though. I do not have high hopes for this country’s future because we only have two parties. The Republicans are too far on the right end of the spectrum, and the Democrats are too left, and they won’t have the ability to pass anything.”

Heather Levin, a student at UCD also did not vote. “I didn’t feel educated enough about the candidates to make an educated decision. I would like to say, ‘Yes, I do have high hopes for our country’s political future,’ but unfortunately I do not.”

Justin Styles, a junior at UCD said, “I did vote, and I’m happy with the results — especially Amendment 67 not passing. No I don’t have high hopes for our country’s political future, but I would like to be a politician since you get paid to lie.”

Generation ‘Y’ claims uninformed on voting issues
By Emily Fox
DENVER, Auraria Campus- As voters head to the polls, the only group that seems to be missing in action is the youngest generation that is eligible to vote.

Joyce Knight, an art student at MSU Denver said that her 18-year-old daughter was too overwhelmed by it all to vote.

“I voted yesterday, but my daughter didn’t and she isn’t going to,” she said. “I think these young people are sick of being blasted with [campaign ads].”

Campaign ads aren’t the only issue the younger generation faces. With only negative ads gracing TV, radio and print, there isn’t much serious talk about who the candidates are and what they stand for. Even debates turn into a free-for-all fight (cue incumbent Rep. Gov. Rick Scott and former Dem. Gov. Charlie Crist debauchery).

Trenton Johnson, a freshman at MSU Denver asked, “If I’m not educated enough, why would I vote?”

A question that many freshman like him are wondering. Without proper knowledge on the issues, no one can make an informed decision.

A troubling issue as older generations die and younger generations are left.

“My daughter said, ‘It doesn’t matter if I vote,’” Knight said. “Well what happens when 50,000 people say it doesn’t matter if I vote.”

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