Voter apathy? Not at Simpson

by Katey Wright

Politicians are trying to get people’s attention. Nokidding.

The presidential debates ended Oct. 13, and the ads have onlyincreased since then, but the polls don’t show any clear advantagein the race to the White House.

At Simpson, students are far from apathetic. They’re payingattention to all aspects of the election for various reasons.

“I used to be among the apathetic, but my view has changed,”senior Alexi Jameson said. “I found a reason to vote, something tobe passionate about. It’s not about being politically active, it’sabout standing up for what you believe in and voicing your opinionin a very healthy and acceptable way. We have a duty to vote; wecan’t complain if we do not.”

Despite the persistence of political campaigns, the majority ofpeople on campus still plan on voting. Most students at Simpson aremembers of the coveted 18-24-year-old age range that a variety oforganizations are appealing to.

According to the New Voter’s Project Web site, only 31.6 % ofthe people that fall in this age range have voted in recentelections. The New Voter’s Project promotes voting among 18- to24-year-olds.

Simpson College Democrats, Republicans and the ProgressiveAction Coalition are additional organizations on campus thatpromote political participation.

“I think [all the campaigns for voting] are good; it informspeople, and it’s important to vote,” freshman Jeff Liggettsaid.

Jameson said students may be apathetic toward politics despitethe efforts of various organizations on campus.

“Just registering people to vote isn’t going to inform voters orencourage them to vote,” Liggett said.

Professor of Political Science John Epperson said the 2000election was a good example of why it is important to vote.

The last presidential election was decided by only a few votesin Florida, and Epperson said this year’s election may be equallyclose.

“It’s expected to be quite close,” Epperson said. “One or twovotes can make a difference.”

Epperson said it is important for all voters, includingstudents, to consider where each candidate and their party standson big issues.

“I think there are some important issues on the table, the Warin Iraq and the economy, and a host of other issues that thecandidates have differentiating views about,” said Professor ofPolitical Science John Epperson.

Apparently, most Iowans agree that political apathy isn’t aviable option in the Nov. 2 election. The Des Moines Registerrecently reported that 96 percent of Iowans are registered tovote.