Student-led voter forum

Findlay Media Network will host Oilers Pulse on Politics

By Sarah Stubbs
@sarahxstubbs

The Findlay Media Network is sponsoring a student voter forum, Oilers Pulse on Politics, on Feb. 22 and March 7 to help spur political discussion and awareness before the Ohio primary election on March 15.

Both forums will be recorded by UFTV and will air at a later date. Each forum will last 30 minutes.

The forum will consist of four registered student voters and a student moderator. The students participating in this forum have not yet been confirmed. Interested Oilers who are already registered to vote should contact UF Productions President Jake Miller at millerj10@findlay.edu for more information about participating.

Moderating Oilers Pulse on Politics is Ashley Summerfield, junior political science major and political reporter for the Pulse.

The voter panel for the first show will be set by Feb. 15. The panel for the second show will be set by Feb. 26.

The Oilers Pulse on Politics voter forum will follow the format of WFIN’s voter forum which will be moderated by Doug Jenkins, news director at WFIN. WFIN’s forums will also be on Feb. 22 and March 7 and will begin at 8 p.m. The student-led forums will follow.

Miller, senior public relations major and leader in UF’s communication department, said that the event’s aim is to address issues surrounding today’s political environment, specifically pertaining to the upcoming presidential election.

“It is not intended to be a yelling match, but rather to help inform other students and the community about what issues actually matter to the different college demographics,” Miller said.

Jenkins said the topics of discussion haven’t been decided yet.

“There will be a lot of finding out what is important to the panelists, as well as talking about recent campaign events in Ohio,” Jenkins said.

The WFIN forum will consist of a Republican from the city and county and a Democrat from the city and county.

“We picked them by putting a list of people who voted in the last two primaries together.  From there we drew numbers at random to form a pool of 50 people from each category.  They were all mailed letters, and the first people to respond are in.  Since we are still waiting to fill a spot we aren’t publicizing who is taking part yet, we want to avoid any ‘If they’re doing it then I’m not’ situations,” Jenkins said.

Ohio’s primary election is on March 15. If you want to vote in the Primary, you must be registered on or before Feb. 16.

Before the general election, the Republican and Democratic parties must determine which candidate will appear on the ballot. The parties hold national conventions where delegates collectively decide on which candidate will run, according to votesmart.org.

The 2016 Republican National Convention will be held July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio. The 2016 Democratic National Convention will begin on July, 25 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

But before the National Conventions can be held, the caucus and the primary processes must happen.

Votesmart.org says that a primary’s purpose is to give more power to citizens in the candidate selection process. In a primary, registered voters choose the candidate for the party’s nomination via secret ballot, just like in the general election.

Ohio’s primary is a closed primary, meaning that voters can only vote if they are registered with a specific party.

Jenkins said that the WFIN voter panel is unlikely to get younger panelists because younger voters typically don’t vote in primaries as often. He said he is interested to see how the Oiler Pulse on Politics forum will go since it will comprise of college-aged students only.

“Obviously the youth vote will weigh heavily in a presidential election, so it will be interesting to get that viewpoint too,” Jenkins said.

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