Tag Archives: youth vote

Obama-Rama! Students Celebrate the President’s Reelection

Barack Obama won the re-election for a second term as the President of the United States of America. Obama won 303 electoral votes against Governor Mitt Romney’s 206 votes, according to the Huffington Post.

Hours before the announcement of President Barack Obama’s election victory, it seemed many USF students already knew who would win the presidency. “Obama,” said freshman Adam Hernandez. “Obama,” said sophomore Victor Valle.  “Hopefully, tonight is not just an election night, but a re-election night,” said Meagan Cuthill, a junior politics major who voted for the first time in this election. “Obama,” agreed freshman Cody Vassar, even though he is an open Republican. “I voted Romney, but I’ll run away if he wins, so I don’t get shot,” he joked. In Tuesday night’s crowd of Obama supporters, Vassar felt like a minority, he said. “But we’re a democracy, so I support everyone that voted,” he concluded.

With the high number of “I voted” stickers worn proudly by voters of the USF community at the event, Vassar had many people to support. Large groups of students gathered in the University Center’s first floor for the election watch party, standing or sitting in chairs and on the floor to keep an eye on the changing ballot numbers between Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.  “I’ve never seen so many people coming together and being involved,” said senior Adriana Duckworth. Junior Caroline Christ agreed. “Tonight and the Giant’s game are the only time I’ve seen people come together like this!”

It appears the viewing party has come a long way from its small, humble beginnings.“We’ve had three presidential election parties so far. It has gone from just twenty political junkies eating a pizza or two, to this,” said politics professor Patrick Murphy. “It’s almost a sports bar, but for political nerds,” he said.

Take into consideration the cheering and hollering each time a state’s final vote is cast, one might actually think they’re at a sports bar. Why are people so active this election? Junior media studies student, Hayley Zaremba, attributed the interest to the Republican candidate. “I’m surprised so many people came out, but I think just the prospect of having Romney as president is scary enough to get people out of their down rooms,” she said. Others connect the interest to the group environment. “I just wanted to watch the results on not [sic] my computer. It’s a pretty exciting environment,” said sophomore Jazlyn Taylor, an international studies student.

In the midst of enthusiasm for the election, which was the first voting experience for many students, some admittedly came to the watch party for the free food. “I came for the gathering, to feel more engaged…and for the food,” said Vassar. “The food is definitely a plus, but I also hope to see Obama win tonight,” said Alex Bacon, a sophomore English major.

Whether people were more excited for results or free food is a toss-up, but the election no longer is — Obama was voted for a second term as the U.S. president. “Obama won the presidency, everyone praise God and take your clothes off!” shouted an unidentified student, running out the door of the University Center.

 

The election watch party was hosted by the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good.

Presidential Election Voting Guide: Part One

The vote goes beyond pure statistical influence.

FACT: California was into the Union a century and a half ago by a one-vote margin.
However, today, according to Economic Inquiry, the probability that a single vote will decide a presidential election averages out to 60 million to one. The importance of the vote, however, reaches far beyond the statistical influence of a lone presidential ballot.
The vote sparks activism.

“The process of voting,” said Corey Cook, “is important in part because it’s a gateway to…political and civic engagement” even when “it is very unlikely for a single vote to matter in any contest.” said Corey Cook,

The statistic above highlights a reality about politics that actually makes both voting and civic engagement a requirement for full political participation: one can’t can’t be had with just one or the other.

Even if an election’s outcome did not align with one’s vote, the activism that is sparked by the act of voting amplifies the power of a ballot.

The vote was fought for.
The vote was won and extended to today’s demographic — to women, to minorities, to 18-year-olds, and to the poor — with extraordinary struggle, effort, and dedication. This effort deserves at least a cast ballot.
The vote sways smaller contests.
Smaller contests, including those for local offices and statewide propositions, are decided on a much narrower margin. Being the deciding vote is not equivalent to being a deciding factor in an election. A vote uncast is a vote that did not bring down the opposition.
Why The Vote Matters:
GET EDUCATED
Rock the Vote
Rock the Vote’s mission is to inform and to build political power of America’s 18-29 year olds through music, pop culture, and social media. This year, the nonprofit hosted a road trip across the East Coast with live bands and voting information and registration kiosks for concertgoers. According to the site there are 44 million eligible young voters — the largest generation in history who are also representative of about a fourth of the entire electorate in 2012. Since 1990s, the nonprofit has registered more than five million young people. Over 200 musicians support Rock the Vote, including Katy Perry, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, and Beyonce.
Check it out: rockthevote.com

Project Vote Smart
The non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization offers quick access to election information, and candidate biographies, ratings, voting records, and speeches. Not sure about which candidate you’re siding with? Go to their interactive VoterEasy page and instantly see who thinks most like you on issues including abortion, education, and health care. Vote Smart also has voter registration forms, absentee ballots, and election schedules for each state.
Check it out: votesmart.org

Politifact
Politifact finds the truth in politics by examining statements made by presidential candidates, Congress members, state legislators, governors, and other figures who speak out in American politics. Statements are researched and are rated by accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter, falling under one of six ratings: true, mostly true, half true, mostly false, false, and pants on fire. Politifact also keeps track of how candidates flip their position on an issue, and whether they fulfill, compromise, or fail to meet their promises to citizens. Politifact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times, winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes.
Check it out: politifact.com

CountMore
Confused about whether you should register to vote at your school address or your home address? CountMore.org compares where your vote would count more based on state representation in the electoral college.
Check it out: www.countmore.org

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Tuesday, November 6
* Election Day
Polling places open from 7 am – 8 pm * Deadline for receipt of vote-by-mail ballots
Must be received by Department of Elections or dropped off at polling place on Election Day by 8 pm