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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASA pushes voter education

    Roadside rallies, candidate debates, UA Mall tables with voter guides and campaigners are attempting to turn UA students into informed voters with one week left until Election Day.

    Arizona Students’ Association is putting a great deal of effort forth not only to inform student voters, but also to get them to the polls Nov. 7, said Rebecca Rodl, a political science junior and ASA director.

    “”ASA just printed a voter’s guide to be passed out to students,”” Rodl said. “”It’s a guide to everything from governor to state Senate and House officials.””

    The 2006 Voter Guide for Southern Arizona is a compilation of the answers from an unbiased survey sent to all candidates, including a question about the candidates’ top three priorities and current position-holders’ backgrounds, Rodl said.

    “”Candidates are asked to comment on tuition increase and the increase in student debt, and in 100 words or less, to explain why students should vote for them,”” Rodl said.

    The UA Young Democrats also want to make sure students know about the candidates and issues, said David Martinez III, a pre-education senior and president of the UA Young Democrats.

    The Young Democrats are especially focused on educating 18- to 35-year-olds and getting them to vote, Martinez said.

    “”We have a program we call Street Team,”” Martinez said. “”We go to where young people like us hang out, and we get them to pledge to vote and pass out literature about the candidates.””

    The UA College Republicans have a mainly grassroots-based campaign method, said Blake Rebling, a political science junior and president of the College Republicans.

    “”We make phone calls and knock on doors trying to get the word out about our candidates,”” Rebling said.

    Using the tables on the Mall is an effective way to get information to students, Rebling said.

    “”We are on the Mall every day,”” Rebling said. “”There are 30,000 students, so we’re mainly campaigning to them.””

    Rebling said the College Republicans are also going to hold roadside rallies with signs to increase name recognition of candidates.

    The main idea is to get the information out there, Rebling said.

    “”I’m actually quite impressed with the number of students who are not informed but who want to be more informed and come by to get information,”” Rebling said.

    Antoinette Grijalva, a communication junior, said she gets most of her information through television and newspaper coverage.

    A voter guide could be useful for voters who are serious about researching the candidates, Grijalva said.

    “”The only problem with that is that it needs to be short and sweet,”” Grijalva said. “”If the packet is too fat, people won’t want to skim through it.””

    The average voter wants his news in a nutshell, Grijalva said.

    Voter guides will be handed out this week and on Election Day. Also, there will be shuttles to the polls from campus Nov. 7, Rodl said.

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