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October 28, 2004 - Image 20

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-28

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8B - The Michigan Daily - Election Guide 2004 - Thursday, October 28
Students speak
out about their
role inelection
By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporter
outh voters, traditionally ignored by
national politicians, are expected
to turn out in greater numbers
this year. Efforts such as MTV's
Rock the Vote, producer P
Diddy's "Vote or Die" campaign
and the steady rockin' Vote for
Change Tour are aggressively
targeting young voters, many of
whom are participating in their
first presidential election.
But while students have noticed the
stepped-up efforts to influence the youth vote by celeb-
rities, they also say they have been neglected by the
candidates themselves.
"I don't feel I've been targeted by either one of them,"
Engineering sophomore Stephanie Fraley said.
Fraley mentioned how Bill Clinton courted young vot-
ers in 1992 with appearances on MTV and the Arsenio
Hall Show.
Fraley said President Bush and Democratic nominee
John Kerry could have spent less time bickering and
more time addressing the issues important to young
Americans.
Nursing sophomore Katie Darnell echoed Fraley's
words.
"Neither of them is directly talking to the youth," she
said.
Students disagree on which candidate has done a bet-
ter job of reaching out to college-age voters and say
each candidate has his strengths.
"I think Kerry's a better speaker, but Bush is more to Compiled by
the people," Darnell said. Donn M. Fresard
But LSA junior Trevor Verrot said, "Kerry has tried
to reach out to young voters more than Bush has."
Many of the issues important to students are the same Illustrations by
ones the general population cares about. Sam Butler
"The big general issues are important to me - edu-
cation, the war in Iraq, the fear of a draft," Verrot said.
"I also like to think beyond just myself- the economy
and social welfare programs."
Darnell said health care issues such as prescription FOREEGI
drugs and Social Security are important to her.
But students also have slightly different priorities Busn!endorsed aNo
when voting than everyone else. with Middle Eastern:
"Because a lot of people my age are in Iraq, that was could convince those
a big issue for me," Fraley said. security forces or sec
A Pew Research Center poll reports that a great- he is committed to s
er number of young people are giving "quite a bit of Korea, which claims
thought" to this election than in 2000. Students under- weapons, and will adc
scored the importance of youth getting to the polls. nuclear program in the
The winner of the presidential election affects the KERRY said he woul
young generation's jobs and futures, especially with the coalition in Iraq by co:
growing burden of caring for an aging population, Dar- Mideast and Europea
nell said. would join internatio
"If one does not participate early, you end up with a Iranian nuclear ambiti
gerontocracy - a country dominated by older people," talks with North Kore:
Verrot said.
With a neck-and-neck race, the youth vote could be
pivotal on Tuesday.
"With the polls being as close as they are, what's
going to decide the election is voter turnout in specific
demographics," Verrot said.
"We want to shape how the nation will be when we
graduate," Fraley said.
"I think every vote counts," she added.

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