By: JIM IRIZARRY
Staff Writer/Copy Editor
As Election Day draws near, student residents of St. Joseph County will have a chance to hear about the issues that affect them directly.
IUSB and the American Democracy Project will be hosting a forum for many political candidates running for office in St. Joseph County. The forum will be held tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 28) in room 1011 of the Education and Arts Building starting at 6:30 p.m. Students will have the chance to ask questions with the candidates for county council, commissioner, coroner and recorder.
“We want to encourage all students to get engaged in the election,” said IUSB political science professor and director of the American Democracy Project Dr. Elizabeth Bennion at the September 23 SGA meeting. “Sometimes when people go to the polls on Election Day, they’re not quite sure who the people are on the ballot. We want to prevent that and we want them to feel good and confident about their votes.”
Bennion noted that these races are often the ones at the bottom of the ballot that most people think nothing about and only vote for based on their political party preference. She says that these are the people that could really surprise a voter.
“You’ll be surprised by some of these people when you meet them,” Bennion said. “We provide an opportunity for people to hear them and compare them side-by-side with a series of very targeted questions about what this office does and why they’re the best person for the job, so that people won’t be confused when they go to the polls.”
Students will also have the chance to find where Indiana House and Senate candidates stand on the issues. The Indiana House Candidate Debate for Districts 7, 8 and 21 will be held Wednesday, Oct. 12 starting at 6:30 pm in EA 1011. The Indiana Senate Candidate Debate for Districts 8 and 10 will be held a week later on Oct. 19 starting at 6:30 pm in EA 1011. Both debates and the county candidate forum are presented in cooperation with the American Democracy Project and the League of Women Voters.
Photo caption: Elizabeth Bennion Photo provided by Bennion.