The 2016 election season is one of the most controversial and confusing in recent memory. Many students, especially those who may be voting for the first time, have many questions. For these students, Cedarville University’s Center for Political Studies, in conjunction with WHIO-TV, will be hosting a political forum on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. The 90-minute event is open to the public and will be held in Cedarville’s Dixon Ministry Center. The event will include a panel of experts answering questions about the current presidential election, themed around the question “How did we get here?”
The experts present will include Christopher Devine, assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton, and Mark Smith, director of the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University. The forum will be moderated by WHIO-TV news anchor James Brown.
“My hope for the forum,” said Brown, “[is] this will give people the opportunity to focus on substance, issues and the real challenges facing our country. And help the public look at the candidates and issues in ways overshadowed by what many are calling a ‘political circus.’”
Smith echoed this sentiment.
“This has been a political campaign like no other campaign our country has ever seen, he said. “People are confused, frustrated, and some don’t know if they should even vote. We’ll do our best to address these issues at the forum.”
The panel will discuss topics provided by the moderator about both campaigns’ platforms and the election as a whole for the first 45 minutes before accepting and answering questions from the audience.
Such an event is welcome for Cedarville students, as many wish to know more about the election, the various candidates and the candidate’s platforms.
Brown said he hopes the forum shows people the importance of voting.
“I’m grateful to live in a country where we have the right to vote,” he said. “I have talked with so many people who say they are so frustrated with this process, they are seriously considering not voting. I can only hope if some of those people are in the audience, they leave the forum understanding just how important their vote is. When people say, ‘my vote won’t count,” my response is, “tell that to Al Gore.’”
Al Gore, the Democratic nominee for President in the election of 2000, won the popular vote but lost the election by several hundred votes in Florida. The election of 2000 is the closest presidential election in history.
The forum will be broadcast live on WHIO Radio, 1290 AM and 95.7 FM, for those who cannot attend the event.
Callahan Jones is a sophomore journalism major and a campus news writer and web designer for Cedars. He enjoys progressive metal, jazz, classical, various other kinds of music and board games.