Abortion, Gay Marriages keys to Ohio Student Vote
November 8, 2004 8:42 AM
As the presidential election hung in the balance last Tuesday night, many SF State students hoped Ohio, a swing state, would pull through for Sen. John Kerry and the country.
"I'm voting for Kerry," said Kate Bradely, microbiology freshman. "People will be pissed if Ohio doesn't go to Kerry."
At 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Sen. John Edwards addressed a crowd of Kerry/Edwards supporters in Boston letting them know that because the vote count in Ohio was still outstanding they would not be calling the election in either direction until every absentee, provisional and cast vote was counted.
Kerry’s advisors predicted he would win the state of Ohio. Ultimately, the voters had another candidate in mind.
“I am extremely happy that President Bush has been re-elected,” said Sgt. David Nicks, dressed in brown army fatigues, waiting for a connecting flight at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. “I feel that Kerry’s plan to bring us home from Afghanistan would have been the wrong move because we’re doing really good things there.”
“The media always focuses on the bad things,” Nicks continued as he sipped a mid-morning tall coffee from the airport Starbucks. “This will be my second tour there and I can’t wait to get there. We’ve opened several schools, and the kids love us. The American media never shows the kids running up to us and hugging and cheering us. You have no idea how good it feels to know that you are responsible for grown men standing in line to vote for the first time.”
Jim Trakas, chairman of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party said that although Bush did not win the large county of Cuyahoga, he did better than expected.
“We didn’t expect to win Cuyahoga because it is a Democratic stronghold,” said Trakas, visibly exhausted from a long campaign season. “We were, however, successful at taking a play from their playbook – grassroots. We went door-to-door in Cuyahoga asking people to vote their moral conscience for President Bush. The numbers aren’t in, but we’re confident we got at least 75% of registered Republicans in the county to vote Bush.”
The moral values plea seemed to have worked on Timothy Klauss, a chemical engineering sophomore at Cleveland State University.
“I voted for Bush because I thought he was the right man for the job,” said Klauss. “His policies on abortion and banning gay marriage are good. Without moral values the country would deteriorate.”
Nathan Faber, chemical engineering freshman at Case Western Reserve University, said his absentee ballot vote for Bush came down to the moral issues of gay marriage and abortion because on every other issue, Kerry and Bush campaigned on the same platform.
“I was happy when I saw the gap [between Bush and Kerry] staying at 100,000 [votes] in Ohio,” said Faber, who was excited to go against his liberal professors who were sure Kerry would win. “I had a feeling [Bush] was going to win it.”
Sarah Gilliam, international studies sophomore and pre-med student at Case Western Reserve University, and her roommate Stephanie Erchect still had Bush signs plastered on their dorm door and walls on Thursday afternoon
“I voted for Bush because of things like abortion, the issue of gay marriage, and I’m also against stem cell research,” said Gilliam, who stayed up until 5:30 a.m. for election results. “And I don’t think he’s done a bad job the last four years, so I was like, let’s vote for him again.”
Gilliam said students supporting Kerry yelled at Erchect and her, and they wrote anti-Bush slogans on the Bush signs posted on their door. She said they laughed it off because they had a right to their opinion.
“This was my first election, so it was like, ‘Wow, I’m voting for George Bush,’” said Erchect, who voted via Michigan absentee ballot based on his moral issues platform. “You’ll always remember the first one.”
Looking forward to the 2008 presidential race, Erchect said she thinks former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani should run since Vice President Dick Cheney has no plans to do so.
Marie Johnson, junior chemistry student at Case Western Reserve University said she was undecided when the Democrats were going through their primary, however, once John Kerry became the Democratic candidate she knew she would vote for Bush.
“There were important issues on the ballot, but what really made me vote was the fact that I’m from a state where the election was going to be really close, so my vote really counted,” said Johnson. “And national security - having a child, I’m really concerned with where this country is going.”
According to Cindy Marizette, Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Democrats, the Bush campaign did a better job at getting out the vote this year than in any of the 20 years she has been involved in politics.
“They were everywhere in Cuyahoga County,” said Marizette. “But they didn’t win it. I am proud and can hold my head high knowing that Cuyahoga worked hard and went to Kerry. I just wish the rest of the state had the sense to do the same.”
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