Campus political groups make last Election Day push

ASU graduate and second-year law student Saman Golestan and transborder studies junior Isabella Leavitt hung polling location flyers on kiosks and in University housing buildings around the Tempe campus on Monday night. (Photo by Jessie Wardarski)

Several campus political groups are ending a semester of campaigning with a final push before polls close Tuesday night.

 

Arizona Students’ Association

 

The Arizona Students’ Association has tried throughout the semester to educate students on their voting rights, help them register to vote and lobbying for Proposition 204, which would extend a one-cent sales tax increase to fund education.

ASA intern Anisha Hindocha, an economics freshman, said the organization hosted a voting rally Wednesday.

Other political groups, such as Students for Mitt and Students for Obama, attended the event and campaigned for their respective parties.

Also in attendance were Sen. Jerry Lewis, R-Mesa, and Maricopa County Sheriff candidates Paul Penzone and Mike Stauffer.

On Tuesday, ASA will continue to encourage students to vote, help them find their nearest polling place and help answer any last-minute election questions.

Hindocha is also part of Students for Sinema, a support group for former Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, who is campaigning in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District.

The group passed out pamphlets explaining the candidates’ political views Monday night around Tempe.

 

ASU Young Democrats

 

ASU Young Democrats Vice President Quentin Gunn, an economics and math junior, said his group will volunteer at different polling places in the 18th and 26th Legislative Districts.

Members will also be handing out literature to voters and identifying voter suppression tactics by other political groups, such as robo-calls from Rep. Jeff Flake’s Senate campaign that misinformed potential voters about polling places.

The club has spent the semester focused on canvassing for the “Get Out The Vote” effort.

Members knocked on about 470 doors over the weekend and plan to reach more than 500 by Tuesday.

“Even though I am confident that the close races throughout the state will end with results in our favor, I know that our group has had a positive impact on the communities surrounding ASU,” Gunn said.

Although ASU Young Democrats have not hosted any recent rallies, the club has hosted speakers like Democratic Senate candidate Richard Carmona, giving members and other attendees the chance to meet candidates and hear their platforms.

“We have been very successful in the past year in getting Democrats into local positions,” Gunn said. “We will find out if we were able to replicate our successes on Tuesday.”

Gunn said after polls close on Tuesday, members will attend either individual legislative district events or the Democratic watch party at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

Members of the Barack Obama campaign group Students for Obama will also attend the event and host a post-election party for all campus groups to attend on Nov. 13.

 

Students for Mitt

 

Political science junior Jordan Tygh, the student state chair for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said Students for Mitt focused on reaching out to swing states around the country.

Members established Students for Mitt at all three Arizona universities, traveling to Nevada and making calls to Ohio, Colorado and Idaho.

Students for Mitt hosted a movie night last week in which they played “2016: Obama’s America.”

“Events like these help us get out the word, get people motivated and helps us recruit volunteers,” Tygh said.

Tygh said Students for Mitt will pass out literature in the Tempe area and hang posters around campus before Tuesday.

“Although we are confident that Romney will win Arizona, we want a last minute push to get people to vote,” he said. “We want to increase the youth vote in Arizona.”

Tygh said many Students for Mitt members will attend Sen. John McCain and Gov. Jan Brewer’s Romney celebration party in downtown Phoenix Tuesday.

 

ASU Students for Liberty

 

ASU Students for Liberty President Blaine Thiederman said the club has not had much involvement in the election despite its status as a political group.

Thiederman said because neither candidate represents the club’s political views, ASU Students for Liberty has focused on educating students on the ideas of liberty and how to make an informed vote.

“Although we have rallied for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, even he doesn’t fully represent our ideas,” he said.

 

Reach the reporter at ppineda@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @paulinapineda22