Candidates Reach Out to Young Voters - - Jackson, MS

Jackson 08/20/07

Candidates Reach Out to Young Voters

By Jon Kalahar

Just how much do young voters matter in the race for the governor's mansion? We followed one candidate to campus to find out just what issues are important to students -- and what part they might play come November.

Shortly before lunch, a group of campaign workers had already passed out 500 voter registration forms.

"The time is now for our future to step up to the plate," said John Eaves, the Democratic nominee for the November governor's race.

Eaves believes voters between 18 and 24 could really help him in the general election. That seems to follow a national pattern where candidates are recognizing the importance of the young voter. In July, a Democratic presidential debate used questions from mostly young voters off

But do students here think candidates are really listening to their needs? Even with the Democratic nominee for governor on the Jackson State campus, the students we spoke with say they feel ignored when it comes to election time.

"They need to cater to us to vote, because it really counts for us to vote here at Jackson State," said JSU senior James Boyd.

Eaves shook hands and listened to what the students had to say. Some had a lot on their minds.

"I believe that you want the government run correctly, you want your communities up right and you don't want to have to pay so much to go to school," said freshman Britney Omyna.

And that seemed to be the main issue for everyone.

"There's a lot of people I see running around here that can't pay for their education or just struggling just trying to get ends met," said Jiman Nelson, a JSU freshman.

Because as one student said, we're not just about having a good time. We think about the future too. A future that may or may not include John Arthur Eaves or Haley Barbour.

Eaves also campaigned on the campuses of Mississippi University for Women and Mississippi State.

WLBT attempted to contact Haley Barbour or someone from his campaign for this story. Governor Barbour was unavailable for comment, and his campaign manager was out of town.

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