U.S. needs informed voters

By By Jeffrey Jenkins

By Jeffrey Jenkins

On November 4, registered voters at the U and across the nation will exercise their right and their responsibility of selecting the next president of the United States. The campaigning process has proven to be historic as Sen. Barack Obama was selected as the first black Democratic Party nominee. Sen. John McCain’s campaign has also made history with the selection of Sarah Palin, who is the first female Republican vice presidential candidate.

The U is currently facilitating several projects that will allow potential voters to be registered and will give registered vot.ers the opportunity to vote on campus. The 18-24 age bracket has seen the largest increase in both voter registration and voter turnout for the past two presidential elections according to a 2006 U.S. Census Report. More and more college-age students are registering and voting than ever before. With this increase in voter turnout among college-age students, an increase in the knowledge of candidate issues is imperative if the election process is to remain efficacious.

Obama’s young and avant-garde campaign has won the support of the majority of college age voters according to a recent Gallup poll. McCain’s stalwart patriotism and occasional rebellious attitude has won the majority of support among voters 50 and older according to the same Gallup Poll.

Neither Obama’s good looks, nor McCain’s lengthy prisoner-of-war experience is a valid reason why either one should be president. In the precarious age of terror and economic recession that we find ourselves living through, reducing the presidential election to a personality and popularity contest will only exacerbate our nation’s problems further.

The real focus of every voting U student should be placed on the issues and proposed solutions to the various problems our nation faces. This approach can be solved by spending time on the candidates’ Web sites and researching their plans. Also, OnTheIssues.org is a non partisan Web site devoted to the dissemination of information on each candidate so voters can focus on the issues rather than personalities. The U campus also has both College Republican and College Democrat clubs, which are great local resources for information about each candidate.

The presidential election affects more than just U students and citizens of this country8212;it affects our relationships with foreign countries and foreign markets. A decision of this magnitude, with its international effect, should never be decided solely by a candidate’s personality. Vote smart by voting on what matters.

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Jeffrey Jenkins