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Rep. Price, UNC Young Democrats want to increase voter turnout

Austin Hahn, president of UNC Young Democrats, speaks to UNC students who are getting ready to vote at the Chapel of the Cross.

UNC Young Democrats hosted a get-out-to-vote event on Nov. 2 with U.S. Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) at the Chapel of the Cross Church's polling site, allowing voters to put a name to a candidate's face.

Price represents North Carolina's 4th congressional district. He and his wife, Lisa, who also attended the event, reside in Chapel Hill and are registered to vote in Orange County. Price was also at North Carolina State University on Thursday night. 

He said they decided to vote at the chapel to encourage students to vote and support some of the issues they are concerned about.

"Of course they share the concern that so many feel with a reckless and dangerous president that has taken this country in directions that we never imagined,” Price said. 

There are several issues Price said he is emphasizing during his campaign. 

“When it comes to the kind of course we need to chart going forward, I would say that funding for higher education is very high on the list, both in North Carolina and in Congress," Price said. "That would be Pell Grants, student loans at a reasonable rate, research support, spin offs to create new companies and new jobs." 

Price also spoke about a less well-known issue that he said is important to all voters, but especially younger voters:

“A sleeper issue is net neutrality — the internet generation really cares about the internet, it turns out," Price said. "There is no issue that I’ve gotten more communication about in the last couple of years than net neutrality, and it is overwhelmingly students and millennials who are concerned about that and who are concerned about the Trump administration appointing these commissioners that are basically ready to turn the internet over to these big providers."

So far, Price and his team are fairly happy with voter turnout. Early voting totals in Orange County surpassed 2014 totals by more than 10,000 votes.

“It’s still a little below ideal projections, but it’s certainly better than its been in the past and that tells me that this phenomenon, what we are going through as a country, has really turned on young voters as well as other voters,” Price said.

Reagan Wayne and Madison Ugan were two UNC students who were at the Chapel of the Cross casting their ballots on Friday. 

“We mostly searched online, trying to get as much information as possible from both sides, just really wanted to be unbiased," Wayne said. "We didn’t want to just vote down the party line but looked at which candidate was addressing issues that were important to us."

Both students said they were concerned about gun control and environmental protection. 

The two students did not know Price was going to be at the Chapel of the Cross but said it made voting more personal for them. 

Jim Bartow, the chairperson of the Orange County Democratic Party, was also at the event. He said he was impressed with the candidates in general, and young voters are very important in this election.

“I don’t care what your voice is, I want voices to be heard," Bartow said. "It’s very simple."


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