As Election Day draws near, Oregon voters begin casting their ballots and figuring out which candidates and ballot measures will benefit their community the most.
By Anna Bird
EUGENE, Ore. – Residents of the Churchill neighborhood in West Eugene shared some of their political beliefs with Neighborhood News reporters. All had varying views regarding the upcoming elections, but shared similar concerns for the current state and direction of our country’s education system.
After months of heavy campaigning, countless political advertisements, and heated debates, the 2012 Election season will come to an end on November 6th. Oregon voters started receiving their ballots last week and will vote on 22 different candidates (national, state, and local) and 12 ballot measures. With a little under two weeks left before Election Day, Churchill residents, along with the rest of American voters, are trying to figure out which of those candidates will lead the U.S. in the right direction, and which ballot measures will benefit their communities the most.
Lucas Mericantante, a father of a Churchill High School student, is a Republican who believes in health care and education. Because he has a son in high school, the issue that matters most to him is education. A consistent voter, Mericantante does not claim to be greatly involved in politics, and his political ideologies are not extreme to the right or the left. He believes in Republicans because “they’re the ones who are going to build America and get people back to work.”
“Unfortunately ever since Ronald Reagan, it’s been the best of the worst…there hasn’t been a good president,” Mericantante told reporters. “If I’m going to vote, I’m going to vote for Romney because I believe he’ll build new businesses.”
On the other side of the aisle, Sherie Torralba is a Churchill resident and registered Democrat. She shared a similar take on the importance of public education, and said she will vote for measures that help public schools. She has been keeping track of the Elections on KVAL, and thinks that the overall coverage of the campaigns has been fair. Torralba voted for President Obama in 2008 and plans to vote for him again for another 4-year term.
Kyle Griffin, a 19-year-old student at New Hope Christian College, did not provide a partisan stance and admitted he hasn’t been following the Elections too much. He expressed that he is uninterested in the presidential race because of the way the candidates have been handling themselves. He feels President Obama and Governor Romney have spent too much time bashing each other instead of addressing important issues.
“The recession – as a college student that’s what will affect me the most,” said Griffin. “I feel that a plan should be put in place, not just for me, but for everyone. Just take care of the country.”
Griffin does not plan on voting for a president, but plans to research the local and state ballot measures before voting on them.
DeAnna Harrell, another resident of the Churchill neighborhood, sees governmental spending on military programs as the fundamental problem behind a failing education system.
“Our kids are out selling garbage to fund the schools when the price of one bomb – one bomb – could transform Oregon schools,” she told reporters. She later added, “If we don’t start taking care of our kids and our old people, we are not going to make it as a species.”
As a registered Democrat, Harrell plans to vote for President Obama and almost every other democrat running for a governmental position. She claimed her political views are anything “liberal” and “hippie.”