Countdown to Nov. 2

The flyers covering every spare inch of billboard can mean only one thing: Election Day  — on Nov. 2 — is less than a week away. Solicitations to sign up for everything election-related abound, and students are mobilizing to help sway what could be a pivotal mid-term election.

“This election is incredibly important,” College Democrats volunteer Bryce Farrington said. “This election will determine how California deals with the state’s massive financial and constitutional crisis — there is even an effort to rewrite the constitution.”

According to the Union Tribune, San Diego could play a pivotal role because candidates are interested in courting the large Latino population in the region. Politically engaged citizens from groups such as the San Diego County Democratic Party and the Republican Party of San Diego County are currently trying to boost their candidates’ chances at the polls by running phone bank campaigns and pushing various “Get Out the Vote” efforts in target districts.

The Congress elected next week will govern the country though hot-button issues such as higher education, immigration, energy and gay rights.

“This election is more about policies than a person,” political science professor Thad Kousser said. “Students were galvanized in 2008 with Barack Obama on the ballot, this time some may be too turned off by the complexities of California politics to show up at the polls in record numbers.”

Incumbent U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, based in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area, is one member of a highly publicized race against conservative Republican opponent, and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. According to the  New York Times forecasts, Boxer is leading by more than 6 percent.

On campus, Boxer has support from groups such as Pro-Choice Students for Boxer, who in the past week have dorm stormed with hangers and screened pro-choice films to raise awareness of the importance of the upcoming race.

The gubernatorial race between former governor Jerry Brown and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is “about two competing philosophies,” Farrington said.

Whitman, a proponent of small government, identified herself as a fiscal conservative and said that she would not raise taxes. Union-friendly Brown said that he would attempt to circumvent the two-thirds legislative majority required to raise taxes — a number that often acts as a barrier to tax measures — by instead giving that option to the voters.

According to the most recent New York Times FiveThirtyEight forecast, polls currently show that Brown has a projected 10 percent advantage over his competitor.

In addition to state and Congressional political seats, a slew of initiatives are up on the ballot, including the controversial Proposition 19, which will legalize marijuana, and Proposition 23, the “Dirty-energy Bill” (officially titled the California Jobs Initiative).

“Prop 19, which will legalize marijuana in the state, is historical—there has never been an initiative before like this in the entire world,” Students for Sensible Drug Policy member Angie Shen said. “It is the only one to let people grow their own marijuana.”

Similar to alcohol laws, Prop 19 will not allow people under 21 access to the substance In addition, users will not be permitted to partake in public places or in front of children.

Though Attorney General Brown is against Prop. 19, Shen proposed that “legalization is the first step to ending cartel violence,” referring to the drug wars in Mexico.

Her group is also partnering with Young Americans for Liberty and the No on Prop 23 campaign, as well as the Student Sustainability Collective at UCSD to get students to the polls and increase campaign visibility. Prop. 23 aims to curb unemployment by suspending measures of the Global Warming Safety Act of 2006. Supporters say that loosening environmental laws will save money for companies, and thus consumers.

“Prop 23 is the dirty-energy proposition, that will work to overturn a green bill passed four years ago and which created over 500,000 jobs in California,” CALPIRG Campus Organizer Adam Gosney said.

Gosney, who has worked to pass on No on Prop 23 pledge cards, said that students, though weighed down with midterms are “generally concerned.”

“They want to get involved after the fee hikes, they want to make sure the politicians are listening,” Gosney said.

CALPIRG is working across 40 campuses to build student activists and make sure people know about the issues, using tactics such as including class presentations, tabling, mass e-mails and Facebook.

The No. on 23 campaign has a goal of collecting 7,000 pledges, most of them made through face-to-face interaction and tabling on Library Walk.

Vice President of External Affairs Michael Lam said  that A.S. Council has been planning for the elections since summer. With a total budget of $1,000, the office put on a voter registration drive during Welcome Week.

Lam said the election season publicity run will balloon on Monday and Tuesday with a “Shock the Vote” campaign featuring giveaways, banners, flyers, and RA’s hosting info sessions around campus.

“We feel we’re going to have a big turnout,” Lam said.

Members of the College Republicans at UCSD could not be reached for comment.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
Our Goal