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UTK political party presidents talk voter apathy

2:18 PM, Oct 24, 2010   |    comments
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  • College Democrats President Bobby Patton and College Republicans President Tyler King took their best shot at what might be at root.
  • The perceived apathy is one of the main reasons Smith invited the students on his weekly show Sunday morning.
    

It is election season here in East Tennessee, so candidates and campaigns are on the minds of many, but maybe not all.

"The College Democrat and Republican presidents at the University of Tennessee Knoxville are here today. Gentlemen, good morning. You awake?" WUTK radio show host Hubert Smith asked his guests.

The two young men sitting across from Smith rallied the morning after a major football game to field a tough topic.

"Students voting on college campuses, or not voting if you will, which is more than likely the case," Smith told listeners.

College Democrats President Bobby Patton and College Republicans President Tyler King took their best shot at what might be at root.

"Not a good understanding of how these issues will affect them in the future," Patton said.

"Is that how college students feel, either of you, they feel like they can't make a difference, is that why college students don't vote?" Smith asked.

"A lot of them really, really just don't care. The make fun of you for caring," King said.

The numbers certainly seem to corroborate their sentiments.

"During the last election we had here in Knox County, less than 50 students voted off the University of Tennessee campus," Smith said.

The perceived apathy is one of the main reasons Smith invited the students on his weekly show Sunday morning.

"They can go back and say, 'Hey guys, if we want people to pay attention to us, we have to get involved in the game.' The game is showing up at the ballot box in the voting booth," Smith said.

The college political party presidents say they hope they're not the only ones to respond.

"Hopefully they're listening and trying to think about what they can do to help get involved," King said.

"We can just get people pumped up to go vote, whether Democrat or Republican, get involved," Patton added.

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