Low voter turnout for ASUCD elections has been a conversation topic among student government types for a long time. It gets talked about each election season and is the reason nearly every senatorial candidate feels obligated to spend an inordinate amount of time talking about outreach.
This election season has some people (okay, just me) holding their breath; there seems to be an effort among most candidates to do more than put out flyers advocating their position on a few topics. This means that you, the Aggie-reading, Unitrans-going, CoHo-coffee-guzzling UC Davis student will have a better chance of making an informed decision when you decide to vote at the polls for the first time this quarter.
The least you can do is meet them halfway.
Candidates can only be in so many places at once. They have class just like you do and campaigning is time consuming work. When they do make an effort to get their message to you, take the time to listen.
At least one candidate has posted a video on Facebook about his positions; take the minute and a half of your time and watch it. There’s a chance you’ll agree with what him have to say and you’ll come away with an idea of who you want to vote for.
Maybe you won’t like it; at least you’ll know who you don’t want to vote for. If these candidates are willing to make an extra effort reaching out to you with multimedia and other means, they deserve to be heard.
As anyone running for a senate seat will tell you (even if you don’t want them to), ASUCD controls a multi-million dollar budget and runs or provides funding for many of the services you use and love (even if you don’t know it).
Every year the elections committee hosts debates between senate candidates; I’m willing to bet the vast majority of you haven’t ever gone to one. This year’s committee has made a much stronger effort than in past years to promote and organize these debates. Considering that there’s generally at least one held in the Coffee House, why not go to at least one? You can eat lunch while you watch other people talk at great length about how much they want to help you. They will even take verbal potshots at one another in order to secure their ability to help you.
When was the last time you had at least a dozen people arguing in public about which one would best represent you (and if this isn’t an abnormal occurrence for you, by all means, write in and tell me why)?
Your fine friends at AGTV should have videos of interviews with each senatorial and executive ASUCD candidate available soon. You’re reading about the election in the newspaper (this very publication!). Facebook is covered in a rash of candidate support groups (take that as you will). Candidates are campaigning on the Quad. If you have a class in Olson, the chalkboard is almost certainly covered with messages of support for one slate or another.
All these people want your attention. Nearly all avenues of media have been used! Why? So you can tell them what you want them to do for you. Sure, all them have goals they want to accomplish, but those take a backseat to what you think is important; their plan of action is based on what they think you want. Speak up and tell them if they got it right or not.
Plus if you all vote in this election, voter turnout will be high enough that you won’t have to listen to me write another one of these columns telling you what to do.
RICHARD PROCTER will now give out his weekly props: the Lakers, whoever came up with weekends and Matt Miller. Give Richard reasons to put you on this list at email@example.com.