Tag Archives: election


Staff Editorial

Midterm elections tend to be overlooked, as people seem to believe that if it’s got the word ‘presidential’ in it, then it is obviously more important. Yet, the results of midterm elections could impact us directly, as these propositions and measures actually affect what happens in our backyard.

So if you decided to forgo registering and voting this election season, here are some highlights that you probably missed: Continue reading THE CITY’S MIDTERM ELECTION RESULTS COULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT

Politics Professor is Confident that the 17th Assembly Seat Election will be a Close Race

Elizabeth Silva
Staff Writer

The race for the 17th Assembly seat is heating up as the two democrats, David Chui and David Campos, run competitive campaigns.

“I find this race fascinating because I think it’s an interesting test of the top two primaries,” said Corey Cook,  an associate professor of politics at USF and the Director of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service.

The 17th Assembly District contains parts of the eastern side of the city, including neighborhoods such as North Beach, the Financial District, the Castro, Potrero Hill, the Mission, and Bayview. Continue reading Politics Professor is Confident that the 17th Assembly Seat Election will be a Close Race

November Election Insights From A Politics Professor

Elizabeth Silva
Staff Writer

Professor Corey Cook teaches courses about political institutions, urban and state politics, and the dynamics of political representation. Photo Credit: Danielle Maingot/ FOGHORN

Corey Cook, director of the Leo McCarthy Center and associate politics professor, agreed to share his thoughts on the upcoming Nov. 4 election with the Foghorn. Cook said that the state ballot may not be particularly exciting, but there are some interesting propositions and candidates on the local ballot.  Continue reading November Election Insights From A Politics Professor

Obama-Rama! Students Celebrate the President's Reelection

Barack Obama won the re-election for a second term as the President of the United States of America. Obama won 303 electoral votes against Governor Mitt Romney’s 206 votes, according to the Huffington Post.

Hours before the announcement of President Barack Obama’s election victory, it seemed many USF students already knew who would win the presidency. “Obama,” said freshman Adam Hernandez. “Obama,” said sophomore Victor Valle.  “Hopefully, tonight is not just an election night, but a re-election night,” said Meagan Cuthill, a junior politics major who voted for the first time in this election. “Obama,” agreed freshman Cody Vassar, even though he is an open Republican. “I voted Romney, but I’ll run away if he wins, so I don’t get shot,” he joked. In Tuesday night’s crowd of Obama supporters, Vassar felt like a minority, he said. “But we’re a democracy, so I support everyone that voted,” he concluded.

With the high number of “I voted” stickers worn proudly by voters of the USF community at the event, Vassar had many people to support. Large groups of students gathered in the University Center’s first floor for the election watch party, standing or sitting in chairs and on the floor to keep an eye on the changing ballot numbers between Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.  “I’ve never seen so many people coming together and being involved,” said senior Adriana Duckworth. Junior Caroline Christ agreed. “Tonight and the Giant’s game are the only time I’ve seen people come together like this!”

It appears the viewing party has come a long way from its small, humble beginnings.“We’ve had three presidential election parties so far. It has gone from just twenty political junkies eating a pizza or two, to this,” said politics professor Patrick Murphy. “It’s almost a sports bar, but for political nerds,” he said.

Take into consideration the cheering and hollering each time a state’s final vote is cast, one might actually think they’re at a sports bar. Why are people so active this election? Junior media studies student, Hayley Zaremba, attributed the interest to the Republican candidate. “I’m surprised so many people came out, but I think just the prospect of having Romney as president is scary enough to get people out of their down rooms,” she said. Others connect the interest to the group environment. “I just wanted to watch the results on not [sic] my computer. It’s a pretty exciting environment,” said sophomore Jazlyn Taylor, an international studies student.

In the midst of enthusiasm for the election, which was the first voting experience for many students, some admittedly came to the watch party for the free food. “I came for the gathering, to feel more engaged…and for the food,” said Vassar. “The food is definitely a plus, but I also hope to see Obama win tonight,” said Alex Bacon, a sophomore English major.

Whether people were more excited for results or free food is a toss-up, but the election no longer is — Obama was voted for a second term as the U.S. president. “Obama won the presidency, everyone praise God and take your clothes off!” shouted an unidentified student, running out the door of the University Center.


The election watch party was hosted by the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good.

Letter to Nick White: Why I Voted

USF student Nick White has a very nuanced set of opinions that he has shared with the Foghorn.  He is able to articulate himself in a breadth of important topics and should be commended for his ability to do so.  However, his latest article on why he would not vote in the 2012 election proved to be deeply disappointing, not just because it showed a cavalier attitude toward a tradition that many would and have killed for, but also because it lacked the consistency and effort in thought that I have grown to admire in White’s columns.

To unilaterally abstain from voting because the only viable candidates in a presidential race are for whatever reason objectionable undermines the importance of causes we profess to care so much about. Candidates may be of little interest to White, but clearly the issues are not. This year, every ballot in the state of California is equipped with several localized elections and ten propositions. One proposition in particular, Proposition 34, repeals the death penalty, which White has been an outspoken critic of. It is difficult to not question the importance of certain issues to White if he is unwilling to engage in this most basic of form of civic engagement.  In fairness to White, he may not be a registered voter in California.  However, his home state of Georgia does propose two amendments to the state constitution, one of which deals with the functionality of the public school system which he may have benefitted from.

Perhaps White is unfamiliar with the concept of compulsory voting, whereupon citizens in a democracy such as Brazil or Australia are compelled to vote in order to avoid paying a fine.  In these types of environments, it is still possible to abstain from voting for a viable candidate through ballot spoiling. Ballot spoiling is also prevalent in the U.S. The 2008 Minnesota Senate race infamously had a ballot voting for “Lizardmen” in the write-in category of some races while simultaneously casting a viable vote for Al Franken for U.S. Senate.

What does it mean for a vote to matter? This is not defined clearly. It does however appeal to a populist viewpoint that voting does not matter. The Minnesota Senate race along with the 2010 congressional race of my home district showed a difference of less than 1% of voters between the two candidates. Surely such votes matter enormously in close elections like these.  I would argue that they also matter in races with wider differences.

The benefit of such circumstances is avoiding ballot-by-ballot legal challenges and creating smoother transitions of power.  An unabashed willingness to abstain from voting on these grounds undermines the necessity of candidates to hear the opinions of the college-aged demographic as a potential constituency. It also perpetuates an absurd and self-involved notion that the only worthwhile races to vote in are the presidential ones. It is certainly acceptable, albeit begrudgingly, for a person to abstain from voting. However, these ill-conceived rationalizations are insulting to the reader.