Young Dems for Warren

UA students campaign for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the Washington County Courthouse.

Campaign flyers, yard signs and tables blanket the UA campus as March 3, the day of the Arkansas presidential primary election, approaches.

Students who are passionate about politics are using this election as a way to stand up for their choice candidate. Members of UA Young Democrats have been actively campaigning for their choice candidates since the spring semester began.

Matt Sandusky, a freshman and member of UARK for Bernie, a group of UA students that campaigns for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, said he was excited to find a support network at the university after attending a high school that was not politically involved.

“After going to a high school that wasn't very politically active, being a politically active person, I was just tired of the inactivity,” Sandusky said.

Sandusky said members of UARK for Bernie primarily target citizens who are undecided or not planning on voting, knocking on doors and making phone calls regularly. These people are targeted through open conversation about whom they plan on voting for, he said.

Max Carter, a senior and the Staging Location Director for the Fayetteville Warren Campaign, said he is excited to get the word out about his choice candidate.

“I saw the progressive policies that I care about and someone that actually has a track record of getting things done, not just using progressive rhetoric,” Carter said.

Carter trains volunteers and teaches them how to campaign by knocking on doors and he thinks it is important for people to take action for things they believe in, he said.

“I think the world is changed by actually doing things, not just talking about doing things,” Carter said.

Carter spends his weekends working on the campaign as a volunteer trainer. He balances three majors and spends downtime at the office working on homework.

“It's a little easier being in my last semester,” Carter said. “I get to hang out at the office and do my homework waiting for people to come back from knocking on doors.”

Noah Webster, a senior and UA Young Democrats member who campaigns for Sanders, said he wants to raise awareness about Sanders’s campaign in Arkansas. He thinks people should be given information regarding candidates, and then have the freedom to make their own decisions.

“I don't want to try and force people into being in the Sanders camp,” Webster said, “but I definitely will say what I agree and even disagree with.”

Webster said he provides information to potential volunteers about how to go door-to-door with specific campaign literature. He said he raises awareness about his campaign for Sanders through open conversation.

Mariam Siddiqui, a senior and volunteer for UAYD for Warren, said she spends her weekends calling potential voters and door-knocking for Warren’s campaign. She canvasses in Springdale, Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville.

Volunteering involves asking citizens if they are aware of Warren and offering rides to the polls. Siddiqui said her campaign efforts have been received positively on campus. Students who approach UAYD for Warren tables have been eager to engage, she said.

“They resonate with the message we’re trying to send, and they appreciate us,” Siddiqui said.

Billy Cook, vice president of UA Young Democrats said his organization is not allowed to officially support any one primary candidate.

“The purpose of Young Democrats is to connect these young activists with the campaigns that speak to them,” Cook said.

Cook said he thinks it is important for young people to come together to get involved in politics and support candidates they believe in.

Early voting for the primary elections is available up until election day which is Tuesday, March 3. Voters can only vote in one party’s primary election. For out-of-state voters, absentee ballots must be postmarked seven days before election day, or in person by the close of the business day before the election.

For more information regarding absentee ballots, visit the Arkansas Secretary of State. For information regarding where to vote in Arkansas, visit Arkansas Polling Place Search.

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