Recall Sparks Mixed Reactions
Students Sound Off about the Recall
October 15, 2003 10:54 PM
It’s official; the voters of California have spoken.
In what can only be described as a landslide victory for “The Terminator,” California voters turned out in droves to fire Gov. Gray Davis and replace him with Hollywood mega-star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Now that the dust has settled, how did SF State students contribute to this historic election, or did they contribute at all?
If the on-campus voter registration drive was any indication of students who exercised their right to vote on Oct. 7, it is clear this election peaked the interest of a large group of students. In an e-mail sent to the campus community, President Corrigan expressed his satisfaction with the voter registration drive exceeding all expectations.
In total, there was a near 50 percent increase in students who registered to vote during this year’s voter registration drive compared to last year’s figures. Overall, 1,375 students became registered voters during the 2003 voter registration drive, compared to 922 students who registered in last year’s drive, according to an article written by the SF State public affairs office.
Although voter turnout was huge during this election, there were individuals such as James Sakkis, who decided to stay away from the polls on election day. Sakkis, a 21-year-old business major did not feel familiar enough with the issues at hand. He felt it was better to not vote at all than to “vote wrong.”
"Now that Arnold is elected, I think that he might mean well, but as far as skill and what he’ll be able to do for the state, he'll have to prove himself," Sakkis said. “It might be a joke that Arnold is governor unless he does something right, and I hope he can."
Sakkis is not alone in his hopes that Schwarzenegger succeeds in being a first-rate governor. Judging from poll results there were 3,747,446 Californians who cast their vote believing that Schwarzenegger is the best man for the job. It was these voters who comprised nearly 50 percent of the voting pool, according to the Secretary of State’s Web site.
In stark contrast, San Francisco and a majority of other Bay Area counties opposed the recall in large numbers. In San Francisco County the recall was shot down by 80.3 percent of votes. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante received 63.2 percent of the votes here while Schwarzenegger received 19.1 percent.
Vicky Knoop was one such voter who joined the quest in stopping the recall. Knoop, a 21-year-old double major in art and urban studies, opposed the recall and voted for Lt. Gov. Bustamante.
"I think the whole recall is pretty ridiculous. Arnold is less qualified than a lot of the other candidates," Knoop said. "It's a huge step back for supposedly one of the most liberal states in the nation to have a republican governor, even though he is rather moderate."
In discussing why she opposed Schwarzenegger, Knoop said that she was not happy with his proposed tax policies. She also feels that higher income earners should be taxed more, especially when people who make less money are paying a higher percentage of their salary to taxes.
Knoop's overall outlook on the recall was that it made the state look juvenile because it was unprofessional and wasted money.
"Now that it's over I feel like it's not going to be local and state fighting against the federal,” she said. "It's now local fighting against state fighting against federal."
A rare find on campus is Sean Kunz, a 23-year-old marketing student who voted in favor of the recall. Despite his support for the recall, he opposed Schwarzenegger and instead voted for Sen. Tom McClintock.
"Arnold could not give a specific budget plan," Kunz said. "He didn't convince me that he is capable of running the sixth-largest economy in the world."
Kunz felt that Gov. Davis made a huge mistake when he drove California's surplus budget into the red zone. Kunz decided to vote for McClintock because, out of all the candidates, he seemed most qualified to fix the problems in the state.
"With Arnold in the race it didn't seem like the other candidates got a chance to be noticed or heard because of all the media attention that he got," Kunz said. "It seems like he at least chose his advisors well, being that there are some Democrats and some Republicans, but I really hope he does well."
With the recall over, and governor-elect Schwarzenegger primed to take office any day now, it seems that Kunz may have it right and that all anyone can do is hope for a better tomorrow in California's future.
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