Photo Blog (By: Lesia Witkowsky)

For this website, I am the sole photographer and part of a team of 4 copy editors.  I’ve never had either of those responsibilities before, but I’m ready to give them all I’ve got.

So far things have just started to pick up.  I’ve been able to catch a “Rock the Vote” event for a few action shots, and I attended a debate viewing party with College Democrats in their State Street office.  College Democrats have canvass events every Sunday, so I plan on joining in this weekend.  I’ve been trying to do the same with the College Republicans, but getting ahold of them has proved much more difficult.  

Part of the photo essay includes photographing some residents (besides students) to get an all-inclusive Madison take on the election.  I plan to include shots of Obama’s campus visit photos of posters and pictures of people putting up lawn signs.  As for editing copy, I just finished editing my first three pieces.  Hopefully they’re good to go.

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Income Inequality (By: Laura Howe)

Income inequality in the United States is in the spotlight for the upcoming presidential election. However, other countries around the world are plagued with a similar problem

“This is happening in every country- a top-end pulling away,” Director of the Institute of Research on Poverty, Timothy Smeeding said.  “It is just much bigger in the United States.”

Countries around the world are experiencing the same increase in the national income being shared by the top 1%, the Economist report, “For Richer, For Poorer” stated.

 Strictly focusing on income inequality, South Africa ranks the highest followed by Brazil, China and then the United States, the Economist report said. However, the United States ranks the highest based on market income. 

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K-12 Education (By: Sasha Hayman)

Throughout my research regarding Obama and Romney’s standpoints on the many issues surrounding K-12 education, I came across an article on about a comment President Obama made in his State of the Union speech this January that outraged a homeschooling organization in the U.S.

“We also know that when students don’t walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. When students are not allowed to drop out, they do better. So, tonight, I am proposing that every state, every state, requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate, or turn 18.”

If you’re anything like me, you’re reading that quote and not quite understanding how it could outrage anyone. It’s a fair initiative, to get every student in school to reach graduation. I don’t group homeschooled students with people dropping out. It’s still school, and there is still a graduating point.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) seemed to take this as a threat to the freedom of people who choose homeschooling. A representative explained that it insinuates that the Federal government can tell students when they should have to graduate by, and how to define what “graduating” is.

Perhaps I’m biased, but this seems to me a case of making something out of nothing. A quote filled with good intentions for everyone in this country is taken out of context and turned into a negative attack on that candidate. The fact is, whether a student receives home schooling or public education, graduation is the goal.

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Looking Beyond the Abortion Debate (By: Caitlin Furin)

When it came time to choose story ideas for Election Connection, I hesitated in picking women’s rights. In my realm of friends and contacts, I hadn’t heard much about women’s rights in this election. I had watched the debates and read a bunch of articles, but none of them addressed women’s rights beyond the brief reference to the abortion debate.

But I went ahead and decided to pursue the women’s rights issues, because it’s something that I personally am paying attention to during this election. I wanted to look beyond the abortion debate and learn more about health care. I was able to do this, and much more.

Talking with students from PAVE and the Campus Women’s Center was a great experience. It is wonderful to see students that are fighting for women’s rights on this campus. It was actually my contact at PAVE that informed me about the opposition against the Violence Against Women Act. Women, especially students, need to educate themselves on how this election can affect them. Organizations like PAVE are trying to do help women do that.

 I am very happy with the outcome of my story. I feel like I received a lot of well –rounded information about a variety of women’s issues. I hope that women will read this article and consider the information when they go to the polls on November 6th

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Remember Respect (By: Jade Likely)

It’s hard to live in Madison without being slammed with political opinions. As one of the top advertised-to cities in America, Madison is a whirlwind of political activity and information, especially this close to the election. It’s no secret that Dane County is a liberal area—Madisonians are some of the most outspoken and active Democratic voices in the nation (remember those recalls, everyone?). A swing state like Wisconsin is undoubtedly an interesting place to live.

Of course, I have many friends who were right there in the Capitol rotunda, circling around with anti-Walker signs. They are the same ones with Obama stickers on their computers and “Tammy For Senate” pins on their backpacks. I admire their enthusiasm and pride for what they believe in. It’s great to see young people advocating for their rights and exercising their political abilities. Like everyone says, we are America’s future. I’m glad America’s future is invested in the well-being of their country.

Continue reading

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Writing about Foreign Policy (by: Ryan McGlynn)

    The experience of writing a story on presidential foreign policy was enlightening. It made me more critically analyze the candidates not only in the respect of foreign policy, but their differences in other areas as well.
 It was interesting that, even though the third and final debate was to be on foreign policy, both tried to bring the focus back to domestic issues like education and the all-important economy.
  Writing this story has made me feel a bit as if I am fulfilling my civic duty of being an informed voter. But I am also taking away other lessons from reporting and writing this story: When you need interviews and sources, start early and ask often. Overall, writing this story for Election Connection was a great experience.
  — Ryan McGlynn
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Undecided voters (by: Olivia Truby)

While writing my article, I found myself questioning the balance. I had to find the balance between undecided voters and professionals who could interpret the undecided voters. Many of the quotes reflect undecided voters who simply do not know nor care about politics.

However, I do think I used quotes that give a sample of what the undecided voters may be thinking.  There is not much quantitative data about undecided voters so I had to use qualitative data from the non-students.

–Olivia Truby

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