Just like the rest of voting America, the Young Democrat and Young Republican clubs are counting down the days until the elections. But for them, that day will be less important than those leading up to it.
These remaining weeks before the elections will be filled with canvassing, phone banking and other activities to support their respective candidates, in an effort to affect the election in a way that will have more of an effect than simply voting would.
In any case, most members of the two political organizations will not be able to cast a ballot in November, so they must voice their opinions in other ways.
“I can’t vote, I can’t cast my ballot, I can’t cast my support that way, so I volunteer so I can have an influence on the election,” said senior Khalid Hassan, Obama for America Head Intern. “I feel like I am doing much more than a vote could have done.”
Both clubs see canvassing as the most effective way to support the candidates’ campaigns, despite complications arising from prejudice based on age. For example, those whom Hassan visited while canvassing often noticed his youth and treated him differently for it.
“They don’t necessarily want to take information from somebody that’s 17,” Hassan said.
While the Young Democrats have only volunteered with the Obama presidential campaign, the Young Republicans are looking to get involved with both the Romney presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee.
“We’re focusing more on the outside population,” Young Republican president Benjamin Bowie, senior, said. The Young Democrat and Young Republican clubs have similar goals, according to Young Democrat secretary Sarah Kenny, junior.
“Both of our clubs’ goals are to get people involved to create opportunities for students to get involved in the campaign and canvassing,” Kenny said.
For this reason, the Young Democrats club is thinking of new ways to collaborate with the Young Republicans in the coming year.
“Instead of having two distinct, polarized factions at Marshall,” Kenny said, “we just want people to work together and raise awareness.”
“I think most people are surprised,” Bowie said, “that young people know this much or even care this much about the political system.”