It all comes down to today.
For most of 2008 – and for some, longer – the Georgia State University campus, along with the rest of the United States and the world at large, has focused on the 2008 United States Presidential Election, and with good reason.
After eight years under President Bush, who continues to spend his second term in office at record or near-record lows in popularity, the general consensus of the electorate (whether Republican, Democrat, or independent) is that the United States needs change.
Change, regardless of who wins, is what will happen today (assuming, of course, that this year’s election does not mirror the 2000 election). The two nominees, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), will create Presidential history merely upon election. McCain, if elected, would be the oldest president upon initial election in history, while Obama would be the nation’s first African-American president. In another sign of potential history-making based on today’s election, the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, could potentially be the first female vice president in American history.
Furthermore, both candidates have ensured that “change” is a part of their platform, whether it comes in Obama’s “Change We Can Believe In” or McCain’s touting of his long-held “maverick” title, formed from years of working across the aisle and voting against his own party.
At Georgia State, support of the election began its visibility during the spring semester of 2008 and reached a fever pitch this semester. The campus organizations for the nation’s two leading political parties, the Young Democrats and College Republicans, held a debate during the spring. Both organizations have also been especially active on campus this semester.
Additionally, a number of other student organizations have been more politically active than usual. A collective of several minority-based organizations and Greek groups on campus partnered with the Student Government Association on the Voice Your Choice campaign. The campaign featured numerous events throughout the course of the semester aimed at creating political discussion and awareness on campus. The campaign also worked to register students to vote. The campaign’s culminating event occurs tonight with Viewer’s Choice: Election Result Viewing, presented in the State Ballroom in the Student Center by Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Spotlight Programming Board, Student Government Association, OAASS&P, and the Graduate Student Council.
In addition to the presidential election, Georgia residents will be voting between sitting senator Saxby Chambliss and challenger Jim Martin. Each of the state’s thirteen congressional districts will vote on their respective representatives, and numerous local-area pieces of legislation and positions are also on the ballot statewide.