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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASUA urges students to vote in upcoming election

Associated+Students+of+the+University+of+Arizona+President+Issac+Ortega+talks+about+the+importance+of+this+years+elections+during+an+interview+in+his+office+on+Monday.+The+UA+could+face+further+tuition+hikes+depending+on+the+outcome+of+the+elections.
Rebecca Marie Sasnett

Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Issac Ortega talks about the importance of this year’s elections during an interview in his office on Monday. The UA could face further tuition hikes depending on the outcome of the elections.

The 2014 U.S. midterm elections will be held on Nov. 4, and ASUA is encouraging UA students to cast their vote as early voting comes to an end.

The elections will also mark the end of the Our Voice, Our Vote campaign that was introduced by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona at the beginning of this semester to encourage students to get involved in the upcoming elections.

All UA students and members of the Tucson community are invited to an early voting station set up in the ASUA offices on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center until Friday.

Jose Guadalupe-Conchas, a political science senior and ASUA diversity director, believes this election is crucial to students because everything surrounding students’ education policies could be affected.

“There’s a really big hype towards presidential elections and that’s when there’s the most turnout,” Conchas said. “It’s important to know that all politics are local when midterm elections elect our state leaders. They’re the ones that decide our tuition and our education policies.”

Conchas said with such a diverse campus, there are a lot of policies that students need to look at and understand, and voter turnout for students in Arizona is one of the lowest in the country.

“If all of us were to register to vote, we would be a force to be reckoned with,” Conchas said.

There is not much leverage for student opinion when it comes to the state legislature, but if more students were civically engaged, that would change, Conchas said.

Conchas said  political party labels like “Democrats” and “Republicans” turn off students because voting then becomes ideological.  

ASUA President Issac Ortega said student voting is hugely important to this election.

“The people we elect to put in office right now are going to make the hard choices on what needs to be cut in our state to make sure we stay above water in Arizona,” Ortega said. “One of the things on the chopping block is universities.”

Arizona is facing a projected $1 billion deficit for next year, and when university funding is cut, it often means a tuition increase, Ortega said. 

In the past four years, state legislators have cut university budgets in half and will continue to cut them even more, Conchas said.

Eka Chibasa, a foreign affairs senior, said he is passionate about encouraging voting in the elections, especially by students.

“It’s really important because this election is tough,” Chibasa said. “We have two people who have different views on education, and, if we don’t vote, it will affect us a lot. If we vote according to our interests, we will make more impact on our school.”

Ortega said ASUA encourages students to visit the early voting station to place their vote, and this last week of voting is most important.

“It literally takes no time at all,” Ortega said. “As much as you might not believe it, your vote really does make a difference, especially when there [are] hundreds and hundreds of them.”

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Follow Adriana Espinosa on Twitter.

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