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Time to vote is near

     With Midterm Elections less than three weeks away, many students at VSU aren’t aware of the candidates or the importance of voting in local elections.
 “I don’t know who’s running,” Ashley Hamilton, psychology major said. “I don’t watch the news.” 
 According to the Georgia Secretary of State Voter Registration System, Valdosta’s highest voter turnout in the latest election was the 65 and over age group with 4,027 registered voters and 796 actually voting. The lowest turnout is 18 to 24-year-olds, with 4,773 registering, but only 69 actual voters, or one percent of registered voters. 
 To increase the number of voters at VSU, organizations have been motivating students to vote not just during the national elections, but also with midterm elections. 
 John Wesley Phillips, chair member of Theta Sigma Sigma, a graduate chapter of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity community, and the College Democrats helped students register to vote and also encourage students to fill out absentee ballots for the midterm election in September.
 “I would like to see students enthused about this election like they were during the presidential Election in 2009,” Wesley said. “It would be good if the school can campaign, because people don’t see the connection between voting for our local politicians and our national politicians.”
 The College Republicans have also been encouraging students to vote by giving out information about Republican Candidate Nathan Deal, knocking on doors and also making phone calls to inform students about voting.  
 In the Midterm elections, Libertarian John Monds, Republican Nathan Deal, and Democrat Roy Barnes, are running for Governor of Georgia. 
 Democrat Roy Barnes, a Cobb County resident, held the seat of Georgia Governor from 1999 to 2003. Some highlights of his time as Governor include the removal of the confederate battle emblem off of the Georgia Flag in 2001, and enforcing students to take a standardized test before advancingSee PEACE CORPS, Page 2 to the next grade.  The candidate for governor  visited Valdosta Oct. 7 to attend a private fund-raiser at the Converse Dalton Ferrell House hosted by the Lowndes County Democratic Party.
 According to the Valdosta Daily Times, Barnes wants to put children back in school, have full school years and stop furlough days. 
 Republican Nathan Deal, a former member Georgia’s ninth district of the U.S House of Representatives, changed his status from Democrat to Republican in 1995.The former Congressman, who is an advocate of immigration reform ,helped write the Citizenship Reform Act, which would eliminate birthright citizenship in the United States. Before his resignation in March 2010, Deal helped passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that helps expand Medicaid eligibility and subsidizes insurance premiums.
 Libertarian John Monds became the first African American in state history to appear on the General Election ballot for Governor of Georgia.  Monds has also  held financial literacy classes for the Holder Park Summer Program and  helped  create  the Freedom Day Health Fair and advocated for citizens who believed they had been treated unjustly.

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