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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Student political junkies call on peers to vote

Timothy Galaz
Timothy Galaz / Arizona Daily Wildcat Heather Hyman(left) 22, a Family Studies and Human Development junior, and Rebekah Charles, 21, Retail and Consumer Sciences junior, volunteer support for the Kazochik campaign on the corner of Speedway and Campbell November 3rd 2009

While the UA’s political parties may be on opposite ends on many issues there is at least one thing they agree on — it’s important for college students to get out and vote.

Today’s elections will decide three city council seats and several budget-related propositions, including whether to give more money to police and Tucson Unified School District schools.

“”It’s important for young people to vote, especially in city council elections, because that’s what directly affects us in Tucson,”” said Brittni Storrs, president of UA Young Democrats. “”Even out-of-state students (should vote) because UA is their home for the next few years.””

Storrs, a political science senior, said Proposition 200, which would allocate more funding for local police, is one of the most important issues being voted on tomorrow.

“”The proposition would increase the number of police officers in Tucson but the thing is, Tucson is where it should be for a city of its size,”” she said. “”If passed, Tucson would have to rework the budget to accommodate for the funding. It would really cause more harm than good.””

Coty McKenzie, president of UA College Republicans and political science junior, said it’s important for UA students to vote, but he supports a “”yes”” vote on Proposition 200.   

“”On most things I will say ‘keep taxes lower’ but most of the research I’ve done on 200 has said the proposition isn’t going to be funded by tax dollars, it’s going to be funded by other projects we’re going to take money from, such as Rio Nuevo (a plan to revitalize downtown),”” he said. “”I worked as a firefighter over the summer, so I have a bias right there. I feel firefighters in Tucson are underpaid.””

McKenzie said it’s important for UA students to vote because the election will affect everyone.

“”The Tucson City Council is deciding where this money is going,”” he said. “”If we pass these propositions that’s where our tax dollars are going, so it affects everyone.””

Both organizations have been getting the word out by making calls to encourage people to vote and reaching out to individual candidates.

UA Public Health graduate student and registered democrat Alex Gutierrez said overall he’s “”not interested”” in any of the candidates running in today’s election.

“”I’m kind of disappointed in the candidates but don’t see any real change offered by the challengers,”” he said.

Gutierrez said his main focus tomorrow is voting “”no”” on Prop 200.

“”We’re already cutting funding in public health and education so we’re going to have to cut it even more,”” he said. “”The proposition doesn’t offer money, it says ‘find it somewhere else,’ and the only way we’re going to be able to fund it is by cutting programs or raising taxes.””

UA mechanical engineering senior and registered republican James Vaughn said while all elections are important he thinks presidential elections are more important in the grand scheme of things.

“”Presidential elections play an important in deciding how much funding cities get so city officials decide how to spend it,”” he said.

However, UA agricultural economics junior and registered republican Chelsea Schlittenhart said she thinks city elections are just as important as presidential elections.

“”They’re definitely not less important than presidential elections,”” she said. “”City elections have more of an impact on daily life.””

Other students had no idea there was an election today.

“”I’ve been busy with school,”” said UA physiology junior David Stevens. “”But I think every vote counts and city elections are more important (than presidential elections) because they affect you more.””

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