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Young voters skeptical about election

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily TribuneLake Tahoe Community College student Andy Tibbetts plans to cast his vote today.
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The phrase was thrown around more than a beanbag at a county fair.

Students at Lake Tahoe Community College said they felt constricted with today’s election, especially the governor’s race, because of a choice between the “lesser of two evils.”

A majority of students interviewed said they intend to vote, don’t know much about local races and receive their election information through the sample voter packet prior to picking their choice.



“More and more people have the opinion that they should vote so they can bitch,” said Andy Tibbetts, a 24-year-old interested in computer science. “It’s kind of my right to complain.”

Tibbetts and friend Adam Navone, 21, were studying in the hallway leading to the new LTCC cafeteria. Both communicated distaste for political advertising, mudslinging and basically deciding between Democrats and Republicans.




“I don’ t think you can win an election, you buy an election,” Navone said.

While both expressed ignorance on local races and issues, Navone mentioned one proposition that grabbed his attention.

“Measure Z is interesting I guess,” he said. “They want to tax business and tax tourism so the city can get more police. It seems like there are a number of police in Tahoe already.”

Navone and Tibbetts said they both registered and intend to vote.

The voting block of the young, from 18 to 25, is infamously known as the group that doesn’t utilize their right to cast ballots.

During college registration, the LTCC’s Office of Admissions and Records left voting registration forms on the counter. An admissions and records official guessed that 20-30 forms were picked up.

She referenced a voting registration table that was present several weeks ago and believed it was manned by campaigners, probably proponents for Proposition 47, a school bond measure that would give LTCC the green light for a $5 million library project.

Officials from the Department of Elections in Placerville said it would be difficult to determine the quantity of young voters in March’s primary election.

LTCC instructor Tanis Lovercheck-Saunders said she provides information to students in her two political science classes regarding local and state ballot propositions. Most of her students knew about Question 9, a Nevada ballot measure that would make possession of 3 ounces of marijuana legal, she said.

“A lot of young people don’t think it matters,” she said. “They don’t think (their vote) counts even though what happened in Florida can show you it can. There is a disillusionment with politics and perhaps not a lot of understanding of what’s going on. I think getting more established, more settled down, having a family brings the political issues home more.”

Bobby Jaeger, 20, was reading a newspaper during his shift working at coffee cart Monday. Jaeger, who didn’t register, said he puts more importance on initiatives than people running for office, since politicians seem like a cookie cutout of the same person in a different suit.

Jaeger said he would be more interested if more young people and representatives of different social classes ran for office.

Amy Hackleman is registered and has been voting since she was 18 years old.

“I was hoping what I was doing was making a difference,” Hackleman said. “Well, after the last presidential election you kind of wonder how it’s really run and does every vote really count? I mean, was it just the 500 vote difference or was it because Florida was really whacked?”

— Contact William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com


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