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First-Time Voters Eager For Debate

October 3, 2012, 10:00 PM by Kelly Bartnick

First-Time Voters Eager For Debate
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The basement room of an Augustana College dorm is the temporary home for a group of first-time voters still trying to decide which Presidential candidate to choose come November.

“This is actually my break from homework,” Augustana College senior Lauren Broadwell said. “I like this kind of stuff.”

This is the next generation of political junkies, the difference here is they call themselves non-partisan, for now.

“You can tell who likes who, but we never go after each other,” freshman Jesse Nelson said.

Nelson joined the Augustana C.O.U.P.S. group watching the debate Wednesday evening. The group is made up of Political Science students who like to talk politics.

“I want to hear how they view the role of government in this country and the direction they want to take the country as it relates to the role of government because that's the fundamental question at the base of this election,” Nelson said.

“As a voter, trying to get educated on the issues, I wish it was less combative,” Broadwell said.

Neither Broadwell nor Nelson could vote during the last Presidential contest. The youth base may not be fired up as much this time as it was in 2008, but Broadwell says they're still paying attention.

“And I've heard people in the cafeteria and commons discussing issues and clubs are talking so everyone has been trying to understand it,” Broadwell said.

Even cloaked by the safety net of college, the issues are still important here. If things like jobs and the economy don’t affect them now, the students know the issues soon will be important.

“I’m specifically interested in what the candidates are talking about and they care and want to listen,” Nelson said.

“I really hope our youth base has a good voice because we need it,” Broadwell said.

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