Campus News

Election Day draws student, faculty responses

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Election Day is swiftly approaching, and the presidential candidates of the two major political parties are battling it out over the swing states in the final days before the polls open Tuesday. The Republican nominee, Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan will campaign in Pennsylvania, a largely Democratic state that is like to vote primarily for President Barack Obama. Democratic incumbent Obama has been campaigning across the country for battleground states in the last few days. He hopes to secure another four year term for himself and Vice President Joe Biden. At Bethel College, some students are making the trip to the polls while others have already voted using an absentee ballot. “I am voting in person,” sophomore Tara Caswell said. “I am voting for everything on the ballot.” Other students are voting for some positions on the ballot, while omitting others. Sophomore Leah Evans voted absentee near from her hometown last weekend. “I voted for the presidential, senatorial, and judicial candidates, as well as the proposals to amend the Michigan state constitution,” Evans said, adding that she didn’t vote for positions or candidates that she wasn’t sure about. Among Bethel faculty, adjunct Professor of Fine Arts Dean Swihart has a special connection to this year’s election: his wife, Jackie Walorski, is running for Indiana’s Second Congressional District. Swihart, who teaches Introduction to World Music this semester in the non-traditional program, is also a school teacher in Mishawaka. He said that Walorski was first elected to the Indiana House of Representatives shortly after the couple returned from a mission trip in Romania. She then served three terms in the State House. Walorski will be running against Green Party candidate Andrew Straw, who is currently a civil rights attorney, Libertarian Party Candidate Joe Ruiz, who works with at risk youth at the Family and Children’s Center, and Democratic candidate Brendan Mullen, who is a veteran and small business owner. Regarding all candidates in the election, Caswell said she looks for the candidate that “holds the same standards” as herself. Evans stated that it saddens her that so few young adults vote. “There is so much riding on this election,” Evans said. “…Even though these issues directly affect our generation, we are contributing the smallest percentage of the voting population. To me, the better question is ‘Why wouldn’t you vote?’” Swihart sees young voters a bit more optimistically, citing that in this election, economics and jobs are a major issue. He believes it is also an issue that students find important. “It’s wonderful that young people aren’t just letting elections blow by,” Swihart said. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, and the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.
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