As Election Day presses ever nearer, the Roundup would like to encourage Payson's young voters to step up to the plate and swing for the future. There is an exciting movement in America in which more and more young people are hearing the call to take part in the democratic process of this free nation.
Krystle Wagner, a 2004 Payson High School graduate who was selected to attend the presidential debate in Tempe Wednesday, provided the following guest commentary:
I was one of the privileged students who were given the opportunity to attend the presidential debate Oct. 13 at ASU's Gammage Auditorium.
I've been living in Payson for more than four years now and recently moved to Tempe where I attend Arizona State University. I am currently majoring in political science and have hopes to continue on to law school. As ASU students, we were given the opportunity to enter our names into a pool of students, of which a few would be randomly selected to attend the presidential debate. Out of 15,000 students who put in for this lottery, I was one of those selected.
At the debate we were able to meet and shake hands with senators, congressmen and legislators. Getting to sit with the CIA and Secret Service agents was quite interesting.
ASU has been making preparations for the debate since the beginning of the semester. We've had major news crews and hosts such as Walter Cronkite and Chris Matthews interviewing students on campus.
Students here at ASU were given a rare experience. The many protests and rallies show how much younger students are really getting involved in the election process. As a political science major I have closely watched the events unfold around the two candidates, and I have no doubt ASU's students will be there to vote on Election Day.
This has been a privilege for Arizona State University and I hope we see more debates in the future. For me, going to the debate on Wednesday was an honor and privilege I will never forget.
Students all over ASU are standing up and registering to vote. I encourage young people everywhere to make their voices heard and get out to vote on Election Day.
A lot of people I know who are from Payson think they are just from a small town and that nobody is going to care what they think, especially young people, ages 18 to 21 years old, who may be voting for the first time. But I want the young people of Payson to know that their vote does count.
It's your future, be a part of it.
-- Krystle Wagner, 2004 Payson High School graduate and current ASU student