U students demonstrate a wide range of voting reasons, choices

Erin Madsen

University students cast their ballots at several voting sites across campus Tuesday.
Many students viewed their voting as a critical civic duty and a distinct opportunity to express their voices.
At the Minnesota Department of Health building, hundreds of students took advantage of same-day registration and chose their candidates.
Journalism senior Erin Goldenson said she cast her ballot for Vice President Al Gore and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Dayton.
“I want the Democratic Party to continue and prosper,” she said. “I’m really in favor of (Gore’s) views on women’s rights.”
Although she considers herself a Democrat, Goldenson said she did vote for Republican Ben Bowman for the District 59B House of Representatives seat, which covers the University’s East Bank. She chose the 22-year-old Bowman because he has youth appeal and interest in environmental issues.
College of Liberal Arts sophomore Matt Ducette said he voted for two reasons.
“To exercise my citizenship and to get a free Chipotle burrito,” he said. The Mexican fast-food restaurant gave away a burrito to anyone wearing an “I Voted” sticker.
Ducette said he voted for Bush because of his stance on the U.S. military.
“Military is a big issue and I believe he will uphold the military and expand it to help protect and show that the U.S. shouldn’t be messed with,” he said.
University junior Sing-Wei Ho said she swayed her decision from Republican stance to a more liberal view.
“I voted for Gore because of his issues on the environment and the fact that he will have the ability to select the next three Supreme Court justices,” she said. “I’m a moderate, but Bush is more extreme.”
Ryan Weisenburger, a CLA freshman, said his votes were split between the two major parties.
“I voted for Gore because his education views pertain more to a younger crowd,” he said.
Weisenburger said he voted for Sen. Rod Grams because of his pro-life abortion stance.
CLA sophomore Dallas West said student voter turnout is important.
“It’s a good thing for students to come and vote,” he said. “It shows we’re responsible and can make a difference.”
“I voted for Gore because he keeps an open view and believes everyone should have their own rights,” West added. “I hunt, but I believe in gun control.”
Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer stopped by the poll to observe the turnout and flow.
“I’m visiting a large number of precincts selected for demographics, and (the Minnesota Department of Health polling site) is a high voter turnout and a college campus,” Kiffmeyer said.
As she looked at the line of more than 50 students waiting to register, Kiffmeyer said, “Citizenship is a little messy. If (students) pre-registered, they’d get through the line quicker.”