Smoking ban the main issue for SDSU students

Tony Gorder

Tony GorderEditor-in-Chief

Even with a hotly contested U.S. House race that was on the national radar, the smoking ban was seemingly the main concern for SDSU student voters on Nov. 2.

The Referred Law 12 broadens the ban on smoking to include establishments like bars, restaurants and liquor stores. It passed with over 64 percent of the vote statewide and nearly 71.99 percent approval in Brookings County, the second highest of all S.D. counties, behind Lincoln County with an even 72 percent.

Students and residents living on or near campus voted at Tompkins Alumni Center, where Barbara Telkamp, superintendent of the Precinct 1 election board, said turnout was more than expected.

“We’ve been very busy,” Telkamp said.

Of the more than 390 voters at the precinct, Telkamp estimated half or more of those were students.

Senior SDSU agriculture major Deidra McCarthy supported the widening of the smoking ban.

“The smoking ban was the main issue for me,” she said.

Becky Garton, a senior graphic design major, showed up to vote for three issues: the smoking ban, medical marijuana and the U.S. House race.

Garton voted on those three issues but abstained from voting on anything else.

“I never vote for something I don’t know enough about,” she said, “but I think it’s important to vote even if I’m not voting on absolutely everything.”

Republicans swept all statewide elections, something SDSU College Republican Chairman Tyler Holmquist was very happy with.

“I think South Dakota has said loud and clear that’s the way we want to go,” Holmquist said.

Vice President of SDSU College Democrats Hassan Ali, was disappointed, and said the mood of the country played a large role, especially in South Dakota’s U.S. House and governor races. In both those races, the Democratic candidates campaigned as moderates yet still lost to their Republican opponents.