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Thursday, Nov. 30
The Indiana Daily Student


Voters speak on the air about political stances

With election day looming, Bloomington residents and IU students had a chance to make their voices heard on statewide television.

WHTR Indianapolis Channel 13 Eyewitness News anchors and reporters made their 10th stop of 11 since August in “Decision 2012 On the Road,” a program in which they traveled across central Indiana to talk to voters about issues that are important to them. For the most part, people are concerned about the economy and jobs, Eyewitness News anchor Andrea Morehead said.

“No one’s talking about too much of anything else,” she said.

The program will conclude next week in Indianapolis.

“The purpose for us has been to show viewers that we care about what you think,” Morehead said. “The chance to hand the mike over to them is a great exercise in democracy.”

After spending the day interviewing people around campus, the Eyewitness News crew had a community conversation in Ernie Pyle Hall.

Only a handful of people came to the discussion, but there were no lulls in the talk. Morehead reminded them that the goal was to talk about policies, not their candidate preferences.

She informed the group that after their day’s expedition, the news crew found that the majority of people said they either didn’t know who to vote for or were not going to vote at all.

The discussion kicked off with what, as Morehead said, is all people want to talk about — the economy.

Senior Nate O’Connor said the government cannot create jobs in any sense.

Sophomore Allie Dembar talked about the bigger picture, and said she believes the only way the U.S. can generate a strong performance is by investing in innovations. She also said that she thinks the U.S. should be a nation where everyone has health care because it is a human right.

O’Connor disagreed. He said he did think free health care would be great, but said society is the responsibility of the people, not the government. He said people do not have the right to health care or to an education because these are services that people get paid for.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch and there’s no such thing as free health care,” O’Connor said.

Other students interjected from time to time, sharing their views and personal experiences without stating any party affiliations.

The group mainly focused on the economy and health care, but attendees also discussed the relationship between politics and social media. They shared their opinions about people using Facebook and Twitter to push their views on others, and they talked about candidates using popular, humorous talk shows such as Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report to resonate with younger audiences. Morehead frequently commented on how well spoken the students were in the conversation.

At the end of the hour-long talk, those who attended were asked if they had already decided which candidates they were voting for. Almost every hand went up.

Instead of raising her hand, senior Aubrey Merrell took the microphone. Earlier on, she told the group about how angry she had been with both presidential candidates after the second debate, and how she was beginning to let the anger go. Still, her mind was not made up, she said.

“I’m not going to decide until I get into the booth on election day,” she said.

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