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ASUA campaign educates students about election issues

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Courtesy of Issac Ortega

Students gather outside on the UA Mall for a concert at Catfest, an event put on by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, on May 2. ASUA will be hosting a welcome back concert on Oct. 3 for the “Our Voice, Our Vote” campaign.

In an effort the get more students involved in the upcoming midterm elections, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona has put together a campaign called Our Voice, Our Vote that launches this week.

The Our Voice, Our Vote campaign is a three-part process that will allow students to become more informed about the candidates running for the Congressional and State seats in the Midterm Elections in November. This campaign is a way to encourage students to let their voice be heard and to get involved, because the results of the elections could directly affect UA students, according to Issac Ortega, president of ASUA.

“We have 41,000 people here now, and that is such a huge part of the population,” Ortega said. “The U of A can swing an election easily, and we really want to make sure our voice is heard, because it’s super important and critical to everything that the UA does.”

The Our Voice, Our Vote campaign is a process that will help students familiarize themselves with the issues they’re are facing and could face in the future.

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“It’s a campaign in order to enhance our student body’s registration, education and mobilization,” said Katie Jones, executive director of government affairs and policy.

Phase one is the educational phase that focuses on the gubernatorial elects.

The Gubernatorial Candidate Forum will be held on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. in Centennial Hall, where Tucson community members and UA students, faculty and staff will be able to discuss and hear discussions and debates between the gubernatorial candidates.

The candidates present will be Barry Hess (Lib), John Mealer (Americans Elect) and Fred DuVal (D), They will discussing with the audience and amongst themselves about different state issues and issues pertaining to UA students. Doug Ducey is also a candidate for Arizona governor, but will not be in attendance, according to Ortega.

“We really want students to be knowledgeable on who they’re voting for and why they are voting for them,” Ortega said.

Students can submit questions to the ASUA Twitter and Facebook page with the hashtag #OurVoiceOurVote and hear those questions answered and discussed at the gubernatorial forum.

“We want the questions to come straight from the public and from our students,” Ortega said.

Hosted by ASUA and Arizona Public Media, this is the first time in ten years that the debate has been reintroduced. The gubernatorial forum is free to the public, and tickets can be picked up at the UA Bookstore, the A-Store at Main Gate and the University of Arizona Visitor Center.

“Not only community members will be able to take part in the debate, but students will be able to experience it in their own backyard [at Centennial Hall],” said Hannah Seger, presidential chief of staff.

Students can also register to vote in the state of Arizona beginning today through Oct. 5. There will be registration tables throughout campus at places like the UA Mall, the Student Recreation Center, residence halls and the ASUA offices.

Throughout the registration time period, ASUA will also host a free Welcome Back Concert event, also sponsored by Rock the Vote, on Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. on the Mall. The featured artists are Aloe Blacc, Tyler Ward and Luna Aura. There will also be events throughout the day for students to attend, including inflatables and attractions.

Early voting begins on Oct. 9, and ballots can be filled out in the ASUA offices located on the fourth floor of the Student Union Memorial Center. Voting will continue through election day on Nov. 4.

“A lot of people make a big fuss about presidential campaigns, and governor campaigns are often overlooked,” Sager said. “We should be focusing on giving a lot of attention to these gubernatorial debates in our votes, because a lot of the decisions the governors make affect us directly.”

—Follow Adriana Espinosa @DailyWildcat


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