Students Turn Out to Cast Their Votes

But Apathy Appears to Be a Big Winner at Campus Polls

Some students took time out of midterms and classes to vote yesterday, but an election official said their turnout was low.

Brian D. Galle '94-'95, a Mather House resident, made the trek to the Putnam Square Apartments at 2 Mt. Auburn Street to cast his ballot.

He worked for the Kennedy campaign, and said he supports Kennedy because he is "concerned about the prospect of a Republican Senate."

"The Republicans won't address the important issues, such as health care and election reform," Galle said.

Although Kennedy won comfortably, Republicans gained control of the Senate in yesterday's election.

Galle also said he made an effort to get informed about the ballot questions. "I sat and talked to my house tutor in economics at lunch to figure out more about the ballot questions," Galle said.

He said he encouraged other students that he ran into yesterday to vote. "I'd asked if they were voting, and if not, I'd ask why," he said.

"You're going to vote, right?" he asked.

Allan Piper Jr. '96, a Dunster resident, also voted at Putnam Square.

Like Galle, he said he voted for Kennedy because he fears that "Romney reflects the right-wing Republican platform--anti-choice, anti-everything good."

Piper said he believes students should be interested in the political process.

"Presumably, we are some of the most concerned and responsible people of our generation," he said.

Piper is originally from the Washington, D.C., area, and he said that he would be closely following the Senatorial election in Virginia and the Washington mayoral race.

James F. Hartman '95, a Leverett resident who voted at the Quincy House polling station, said he did not vote for Kennedy. "I wanted to get Kennedy out," he said. "I don't like his personal attributes or his politics."

He said he didn't vote on all of the ballot questions, but he felt particularly strongly about rent control.

He voted yes on Proposition 9, which would end rent control, "because the number of people helped by rent control is just not enough to justify such an economically bad policy."

Hartman said he is not surprised that many students don't vote, and that it's not necessarily a bad thing.

"It's not like you know the local politicians here," he said.

He also said it is not necessarily good for students to cast absentee ballots. "If you've been away from home for a few years, you don't know what's going on there," he said.

But Aaron A. Arzu '94, who now works in Boston and still votes in Quincy House, said students should vote in Massachusetts.

"If you're going to be here for four years, these issues are going to impact your life, and you should register in Massachusetts," he said.

Students have the same responsibility to vote that everyone else does, Arzu said. "You have a duty to yourself and your fellow citizens to vote," he said.

Like Hartman, Arzu said he voted for Romney in the Senatorial race for personal and political reasons. Cambridge Election Commission Chair Edward J. Samp Jr. also paid a visit to Quincy House yesterday afternoon, and said he was surprised that there had not been more students voting, both at Quincy and at other sites he had visited.

"I'm surprised they don't come out for the Senate race," he said.

"I wonder if they just don't appreciate the right to vote, or if they are just turned off to the political process," Samp said.