By Ben Irwin and Danielle McKinney
Young voters waited in one of the region’s longest Super Tuesday lines to cast their votes at Sacramento State’s Modoc Hall, showing their support for Democratic presidential candidates who pledge to take action on climate change and economic inequality.
Jordan Reza said climate change is what swayed his vote.
“Right now, we’re just mitigating, trying to fix the situation. So any actions or future actions candidates will take, passing laws, I think that's most important for me to hear,” Reza said.
Of the several “voting center” locations in the county, Sacramento State was one where students could cast their ballot up to 14 days before the election. On Tuesday, the line inside Modoc stretched down the hallways and out the back door. But this didn’t dissuade young voters.
Rebecca Gladden, who is finishing a masters degree in mechanical engineering, also cited climate change — but said she’d like more details from candidates.
“They haven’t been too specific on how they’re going to be handling all that but most of them are just pro-environmental regulations and cracking down on oil,” she said.
Gladden also said that character was just as important.
“It’s interesting just watching them: how they speak, how they present themselves, how they treat the other candidates on stage,” she said. “It’s not always about what they are in support of, but how they represent themselves, even if they have disagreements.”
Rodrigo Gonzalez-Juarez, a graduating senior in social work, said climate change motivated him to come out and vote. But he also said he’s looking for a candidate to create more opportunities for the working class.
“I’m definitely leaning toward the candidate that has the most potential to reduce the socio-economic gap between the wealthy and the bottom half,” Gonzalez-Juarez said.
Emerald Druffel, a student at Mills College, agreed.
“What's important to me is [that candidates] address the rights of marginalized people and the environment,” said Druffel, who added that she wants to make sure that a candidates’ politics “aren’t going to increase the difference between upper and lower class.”
Druffel said she's going to vote for the candidate that aligns most with her core values.
“I kind of feel like this time, weirdly, that it's not just who’s most electable,” Druffel said. “I think Bernie Sanders does have a really good chance and his values do align with mine, which is really exciting.”
Katie Martin, a state worker at the Franchise Tax Board, said that she is going to “vote for whoever is going to get Trump out of office.”
“I don't care if it’s Sanders, I don't care if it's Bloomberg,” she said. “I think we’re the laughing stock of the world right now and, being staunchly Democrat, I don’t like the way this country is going.”
Despite the long line, voters emphasized the importance of being a part of the democratic process by showing up and letting their voices be heard.
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