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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Election shuttles a hit

    The number of students who used the Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s voter shuttles to reach their designated voting stations yesterday increased nearly 20 times over last year, said ASUA President Erin Hertzog.

    Seventy-eight students used the shuttle yesterday, a number that stands in sharp contrast to the four students who used the shuttles last year, Hertzog said.

    There were so many students who needed the services of the shuttles that they operated for an extra hour, until 5 p.m., Hertzog said.

    Hertzog said she thinks the record number came as a result of better publicity in this election year.

    “”The efforts we, and everyone who worked on the UA Votes 2006 campaign, made to promote student voting were tremendous,”” Hertzog said. “”Students are starting to realize their votes have an impact.””

    Throughout the day, ASUA arranged for two vans and one car sponsored by SafeRide to deliver students to their designated polling stations.

    “”We were willing to go anywhere within the limits of the city of Tucson,”” said Matthew Boepple, director of the Arizona Students’ Association.

    The farthest the shuttle traveled yesterday was to East Speedway Boulevard and North Wilmot Road, Boepple said, although shuttles also went to North Greasewood Road.

    Students who used the shuttle service said they thought it was very helpful.

    Kevin Turausky, an anthropology junior, caught the voter shuttle to his polling station at North Mountain Avenue and East Fort Lowell Road.

    “”The shuttle is definitely helpful,”” Turausky said. “”Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have time to vote until after the polls were closed.””

    Kevin Marshal, an election official for the polling station at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road, said he saw many college students voting throughout the day.

    “”College kids seem to be having the most problems with bringing the right identification, though,”” Marshal said. “”Sometimes they have to vote with a provisional ballot, and that is the best that we can do for them.””

    This is the third year that ASUA has sponsored voter shuttles, and planning for the shuttles began shortly after last year’s election, Boepple said.

    Sara Button, a classics sophomore, said she used the voter shuttles for this election and last year’s election. Unlike this year, Button said she was surprised to learn that she was one of few students who used the shuttles in the last election.

    “”Students seem to be more interested in the issues,”” Button said of this election. “”It’s great and important that people from our demographic are voting.””

    College-age voters could be seen exiting the polls outside of the Presbyterian church on East Speedway Boulevard and North Euclid Avenue.

    “”Everyone in there was a student,”” said Laura Prehoda, a public administration junior, of the Precinct 62 voting station.

    Prehoda said she had no trouble voting yesterday.

    “”The process was definitely easy and voter-friendly,”” Prehoda said.

    William Nixon, head of the political science department, said his observations indicate that students are becoming more politically involved, although there is no hard evidence suggesting that students’ political activism has increased.

    “”The early polling station at the (Student Union Memorial Center) was the busiest of any early polling station in Pima County,”” Nixon said.

    Republican and Democratic student groups also seem to be thriving, Nixon said.

    David Martinez III, a pre-education senior and president of the Young Democrats, said that preliminary election results seemed to be favoring Democrats.

    “”We have a big house to clean,”” Martinez said. “”Republicans have been in the majority for too long now, and we are excited to start to take this country in a different direction.””

    Blake Rebling, a political science junior and president of College of Republicans said as he watched election result coverage on television that it was too soon to tell last night what the outcomes of some of yesterday’s elections would be.

    “”Everyone is glad that Kyl has won, but people already expected that with his lead in the preliminaries,”” Rebling said.

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