Rocking the vote

REBECCA CAMPBELL / AGGIE

Community members prepare for election with concert, registration drive

As the Nov. 6 midterm election approaches, Davis residents and students have gathered to remind and encourage voter turnout. Rock the Vote, a free all-day concert and voter registration drive, took place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Davis Commons. It was hosted by Davis Live Music Collective along with Solomon’s Delicatessen, Submerge Magazine and KDVS. Featured artists included King Dream, Black Yacht Club, Las Pulgas, Jessica Malone, Bomba Fried Rice and the Midnight Dip.

“We definitely spread a lot of awareness,” said Chris Preston, the event coordinator for Davis Live Collective. “Supporting the arts and supporting having a voice [are] I think two things we accomplished today.”

Rock the Vote volunteers helped 18 people register to vote in time for the Oct. 22 registration deadline. Voters who did not register before the deadline, however, can still vote using the conditional voter registration process. Registration volunteers included several workers within the K-12 school system, as well as members of Davis Alliance, the UC Davis chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance.

Attila Hegedus, a second-year aerospace science and engineering major, expressed an understanding of the dynamics that challenge youth voting. “Young people’s votes are underrepresented,” he said.

Eliana Bono, a second-year environmental policy analysis and planning major, spoke about the importance of student voting.

“I think it’s really hard for students because it’s an adjustment,” Bono said. “It’s your first time voting, and you’re away from home. But it’s really important to know you have an impact.”

Bono, along with Mary Payne, a second-year English major, advised students to do research about candidates through nonpartisan sites, like BallotReady, and to see what organizations are endorsing which candidates.

This election, California citizens will be choosing between two candidates for both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. They will also vote on nine state positions, four judicial positions and 12 propositions. Yolo County citizens will be voting for trustees on the Davis School Board and for members of the Yolo County Board of Education.

The races for the congressional houses have garnered much attention this year, as Republicans currently have control of both Senate and House. For Democrats to take control of the House, they need to win 23 seats and defend their current seats. In order to take control of the Senate, they need a net gain of two seats.

With regard to the House, Davis voters are in the third congressional district. This means choosing between Democrat John Garamendi — the incumbent — and Republican Charlie Schaupp. For Garamendi, key issues include school funding and student loan reform, farm-to-fork programs, construction of energy-wise transportation systems and comprehensive immigration reform. Schaupp’s platform includes forest and open area maintenance to prevent fires, better federal fiscal responsibility and preservation of social security through economic growth.

As for the senatorial race, voters will choose between two Democrats: Kevin de Leon and Dianne Feinstein. De Leon and Feinstein agree on most issues, including increasing federal gun restrictions, supporting immigrants and decriminalizing marijuana under the federal law.

These two federal races have the potential to influence party influence in Washington, which is one reason why these midterms have been so high-profile for students.

“[I’m] excited at the prospect that maybe things can turn around and go in a way that maybe is better for everyone,” Payne said. “I’m hoping that we get people in Congress and such [who] actually care about everyone who lives in the country.”

 

Written by: Anne Fey — city@theaggie.org