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The Collegian News Blog

Voting on Questions 1 & 2

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

All of the 14 voters questioned at the Immanuel Lutheran Church polling station (Precinct 3) on North Pleasant Street said they either had voted or expected to vote "no" on Question 1 to repeal the state income tax.

Eleven of those same 14 voters said they were in favor of voting "yes" on Question 2 to decriminalize marijuana. Two others planned to vote "no," while another said he was still undecided on Question 2.

The group was a mix of Amherst residents and University of Massachusetts students.

The reasons behind the "no" votes on the first ballot question focused on the country's and state's current economic struggles and maintaining funding for state education.

"It's absurd not to vote 'no' because so many services would be killed in the state," said Amherst resident Mark Dooley concerning Question 1. "I can't imagine someone voting in favor of it."
"As far as the proposition questions go, I am an out-of-stater, and I’m already paying out-of-state tuition," said Josh Rakower, a freshman journalism major. "So, if the income tax gets abolished then I’m paying a lot more, and I don’t know if I can come back to school then."

Question 2 supporters mainly cited crowded prisons and felt the current punishment for possession of small amounts of marijuana is unfair.

"I think the police arresting people for having marijuana are wasting time and money," said Lucy Perkins a freshman biology major at UMass.

However, others like Amherst resident Eric Johnson disagreed.

"Marijuana leads to much worse drug addictions," Johnson said. "If 99 percent of the police force are against it, then so am I because they know better than I do."

Some did not wish to disclose their choice for presidential candidate, however the majority said they support Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.

About 10 voters declined to comment at all wishing to keep their decisions private.

-Matt Rocheleau
posted by Collegian Staff, 1:27 PM


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