REPORT FROM THE YOUNG AMERICANS FOR LIBERTY – The University of Hawaii at Manoa chapters of the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society, together with the Politically Active Student Alliance (PASA) co-hosted a mock election this Thursday, November 1, 2012 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus Center.
A public oral count and tally revealed that incumbent democratic candidate Barack Obama won the election, garnering 60.4% of the total vote. Unlike national polls, however, which showcase republican candidate Mitt Romney nearly neck and neck with Obama, the result of the UH election revealed Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson as the runner up. Johnson secured about twice the amount of votes over Romney, besting the former Massachusetts governor 19.8% to 10.9%. The only female candidate on the State of Hawaii presidential ballot, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, finished fourth with 7.9% of the total vote.
When asked about what impression these results give about the mindset of college aged voters in Hawaii, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) secretary Sean Mitsui had this to say: “Most people understand politics to be between two parties, democrats or republicans, but these results suggest that when given the chance many voters judge for themselves to make decisions in support of a candidate closer to their own beliefs.” Supporting Mitsui’s assertion, the combined total for both third party candidates, Johnson and Stein, was 27.7%, more than a quarter of total votes cast.
Voter Andrew Kim, a sophomore at UH Manoa, voted for Gary Johnson: “I had no idea that other candidates even existed. All you ever hear about is Obama or Romney. After reading a little more about Johnson’s positions on the big issues, I found myself more personally aligned with Johnson.”
The event was the first campus event outside of regular club meetings for each of the organizations. The groups set up a number of tables in the UH Manoa campus center complete with an actual voting booth borrowed from the State Office of Elections, ballots mimicking the official state ballot, and an informative poster outlining the various candidates’ position on a variety of issues. “I’m really happy with the turnout today, especially for a first event. I am definitely looking forward to being a part of future events,” said YAL President Brenden Burk.
Young Americans for Liberty, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the Politically Active Student Alliance are all non-partisan registered independent organizations at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Membership is open to students of all political backgrounds, and students are encouraged to become actively involved. “The real essence of organizations like ours is awareness and civic engagement,” said Burk “politics shouldn’t be monopolized by just two parties, my vote is about more than a symbolic color scheme.”