Casting the vote

Alicia Balog

In this election year, Kent State students’ stances on issues, choices for candidates and political views vary for multiple reasons.

Bryan Staul, junior political science and history major and president of the College Democrats, said he votes for the people and the programs that benefit him.


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“I vote for the party that I feel is benefiting my economic class, my country, my community, my family,” Staul said. “I’m voting affordable education, high-paying jobs, energy affordability and alternative energy and health care availability.”

Daniel Hawes, assistant professor of political science, said young adults, especially students, as a whole generally tend to vote Democrat because of their age.

“The most prominent theory tends to do with aging conservatives,” Hawes said. “Basically the theory says as individuals get older, they tend to get more conservative in part because they have more at stake in the status quo. So they have retirement savings, they have social positions that are more socially conservative because society changes over time and they hold onto more socially conservative viewpoints.”

Hawes said as people grow older, they earn more money and care more about how taxes affect them, sometimes changing their stances on tax increases.

“Young individuals … tend not to have a lot at stake in that respect,” he said. “They tend to be at lower end of the economic spectrum in terms of their earnings and their stake in the status quo. Therefore they are going to be more likely to support what we tend to think of as liberal positions.”

Yet Hawes said if you look at individuals and their voting, the most significant factor in what political party they support is their parents’ parties and influence.

Local Portage County issues

Local Option Election – Kent City 5A. Particular Premise

Laziza, located in Acorn Alley II, is on the ballot to receive permission to sell wine and liquor on Sundays at the restaurant.

Aurora City — Renewal Tax Levy

The city of Aurora would like a five-year tax levy renewal of 1.5 mills to purchase of ambulance equipment, etc.

Freedom Township — Additional Tax Levy

Freedom Township is on the ballot for a .5 mill three-year levy for park development and improvement; this is in addition to the current taxes they receive for the cause.

Field Local School District — Additional Tax Levy

The Field school district is proposing a levy of 7 mills to keep the school operating efficiently. It will be a continuing levy.

Waterloo Local School District — Additional Tax Levy — 7.95 mills

Waterloo school district is also requesting an additional levy of 7.95 mills to keep the school operating efficiently. It will also be continuing for a period of time, beginning in 2012.

A mill is applied to property tax for local and state levies. It is $1 paid per $1,000 estimated home value.


Information compiled by Samantha Pietra.

“It’s part of that socialization process,” Hawes said. “So as you’re growing up, children tend to view and look to their parents for guidance especially if you grow up in a very political household, that shapes the way that you think and see the world.”

For example, Staul said he was raised in a Democratic family but looks at the candidates’ stances on issues to make his decisions.

“My parents are absolutely Democrat. My grandparents are Democrat,” Staul said. “But I mean no, I like to say I’m a Democrat solely on issues and ideology. Like I said, I come from a middle-class, blue collar family – not exactly the Republicans target audience.”

Greg Allison, senior political science major and president of the College Republicans, said he votes Republican because of his ideologies and the strong Republican roots in his family.

“I’ve always had traditional values and the idea of government staying out of my life – taught to me from family and surroundings,” Allison said. “Once I came to college, I learned that being a Republican is the best … situation for me. Being able to live in [an] America with low taxes and a smaller government is the best for me as an individual and the best for everyone I think.”

Whether parents influence their party affiliations or not, some students vote independently of their families and identify with neither political party.

Amanda Woolf, senior photojournalism major, said she votes Independent because she does not like the two-party system.

Woolf voted for Barack Obama in the last presidential campaign, but she said she now trusts Republican Ron Paul, though she does not affiliate herself with the Republicans.

“In general, I hold a lot of the same social values that they do, and I agree … we should have more of a hands–off kind of government,” Woolf said. “So I agree in that sense, but I don’t like affiliating with them just because I don’t agree with certain other things that they do.”

Woolf said she does not really like any of the other Republican candidates because she feels they put religion too much into politics, going against the constitution and freedom of religion.

Adriana Gomez-Weston, freshman fashion design major, said she does not identify with either party and does not trust politicians because they never follow through with their plans and cannot please everyone.

“A lot of them use ploys just to get into office and then most of the time they don’t do what they’ll say they do,” Gomez-Weston said. “I say there is one thing we can’t have either of is a gay president or a Christian president because you never please everybody, so there is always someone who is going to be dissatisfied with whoever is in office no matter what.”

Contact Alicia Balog at [email protected].