Lecture Informs GCC Community on Upcoming Elections

Eight of the 13 propositions on the Nov. 7 ballot were explained to students, faculty and staff in the first of a three part Social Science Lecture Series in Kreider Hall last Thursday. The lecture was presented by the League of Women Voters and coordinated by mass communications professor, Mike Eberts.

Eberts believes that proposition 85 is the most relevant to GCC students. Proposition 85 proposes parental notification about abortion.

“[It’s a] young person orientated proposal,” said Eberts.

In California, as the law now stands, a pregnant unmarried woman under 18 years of age has the right to an abortion without first obtaining permission from her parents. Panelist Georganne Thomsen explained that if Proposition 85 passes, a doctor would be required to give 48 hours advanced notification to the parents or guardians of a minor seeking an abortion. According to the Easy Voter Guide, Proposition 85 would “not require a parent to agree to the abortion. They would just have to be told about it.”

Because enough signatures were gathered, Proposition 85 was put on the ballot, making it an initiative. Also, it will change the California Constitution making it a Constitutional Amendment.

An audience of more than 100 attended the lecture. Eberts moderated a panel of two guest speakers from the League of Women Voters. Monica Marquez, president of the league, and member Thomsen, who explained that the lecture presented a nonpartisan view.

The League of Women Voters, whose founders marched and helped get women the right to vote, has been around since 1920. Its purpose is to support citizen participation in government at all levels. Out of the 13 propositions on the upcoming ballot, the panelists spoke about eight.

After the lecture, at least one student disagreed with Eberts’ view of which proposition was the most important. Ailene Huang felt Proposition 86, regarding adding a cigarette tax, was the proposition of highest concern for her.

“I’m against smoking, it’s irritating. It’s unfair to those other people who don’t smoke,” Huang said.

Thomsen gave some general advice for preparing for the Nov. 7 ballot.

“Pay absolutely no attention to TV advertising on ballot measures. Look at who the sponsors are,” she said. “Going on the internet is one source, and read reliable publications, but both sides.”

Marquez urged students to go on line and check out www.smartvoter.org, a Web site sponsored by the league, to provide information and tools for voters.

Connie Wilson, a volunteer with the league, pointed out that a student had told her earlier that she would not vote because she thought ‘what would one vote do?’ Wilson replied, “In 1921 it took one vote for women to earn the right to vote.”