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Looking for Candidates @ CNN/YouTube Debate


Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

ST. PETE, FLA – Jacob hit the Spin Room following the CNN/YouTube Debate last Wednesday. The mission: find the final three presidential candidates who haven’t responded to the Why Tuesday? Candidate Challenge… but they were surprisingly hard to come by.

We asked representatives of the Thompson, Romney and Giuliani campaigns about the state of America’s election system, but none could offer a specific election reform agenda. Former Senator George Allen (on behalf of Fred Thompson) discussed voting integrity, specifically paper trails, and pointed out that “in Virginia it ends up being a holiday. Schools [are] closed because they are polling places.” More accurately, in Virginia, Election Day is a school holiday; everybody else goes to work, but on Election Day they get to pay for daycare or take their kids the polls.

According to a Young Voter Strategies press release, voters are creatures of habit. If you have voted once before, or were taken to the polls as a child, you are much more likely to vote. Romney Campaign Spokesman Kevin Madden said election reform has “not really been discussed” within their campaign, but “there is always room for improvement” and that for him, voting was encouraged by family and friends.

Giuliani Homeland Security Advisor and U.S. Represenative Peter King said he “has no understanding of why people are not voting.” Congressman King is from a family of second generation immigrants for whom “voting was the most important thing.” Like the Romney campaign, the Giuliani campaign has not yet put together a plan to address America’s perilously low voter participation.

Family tradition is important, but what about making voting as logistically convenient as possible for all eligible voters? What about making voting reliable, secure and accessible? You’d think campaigns would want to increase voter turnout, but we didn’t hear much along those lines. Then again, in the spin room more people were interested in Chuck Norris.

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