The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

Who students are voting for in the 2023 PA general election

Who+students+are+voting+for+in+the+2023+PA+general+election
Annika Esseku | Contributing Editor

Caleb Buzard said voting is the most important and efficient way for students to make a difference in their community. 

“As young people, we can be boxed out from places of power, and that can create a feeling of hopelessness,” Buzard, a junior politics and philosophy major and vice president of the Pitt College Democrats, said. “We feel like we can’t make change or effect change. Voting is yours and yours alone.” 

General elections have a notoriously low youth voter turnout in comparison to presidential or midterm elections. According to a study done by Circle at Tufts University, less than 35% of youth voters in Pennsylvania cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections. With the Pennsylvania general election approaching on Nov. 7, some students share who they’re voting for and why it’s important to get out and vote on Tuesday. 

In the race between Stephen Zapalla (R) and Matt Dugan (D) for Allegheny County District Attorney, Olivia Pinocci-Wrightsman, a sophomore political science major and membership director for the College Democrats, said she’s supporting Matt Dugan. 

“He is interested in getting people access to the mental health rehabilitation that they need rather than punishing them,” Pinnoci-Wrightsman said. 

Saeed Platts, a first-year communications and media studies major, said Stephen Zapalla has his vote.

“Racial equality and racial justice are very important to me. I feel like Stephen Zapalla has done a good job at supplying that,” Platts explained. “I’ll be voting for him.”

Buzard said he’s voting for Dugan because he believes Zapalla has “proven his inability to be a passionate prosecutor and his inability to connect with the community.” 

“Mr. Dugan has demonstrated the empathy and legal fortitude that a good district attorney has to have,” Buzard said. 

Isabella Viramontes, a first-year student studying psychology, is torn over who to vote for in the race for DA. 

“I honestly have no idea yet,” Viramontes said. “Zapalla is involved with the Forward Party, which I really like, but Dugan seems like he’ll be fair and in touch with the community.” 

Saeed Platts also voiced his opinion on the race for county executive between Sara Innamorato (D) and Joseph Rockey (R). 

“I’m voting for Joe Rockey because of his experience,” Platts said. “He has 40-plus years of experience and seems like he knows his community well.” 

Buzard said he’s voting for Sara Innamorato because she has proven to be a “distinguished” legislator in the PA House of Representatives. 

“She has the experience needed to be an effective leader for the county,” Buzard said. “Someone who can be a voice for us all.”  

Joe Rockey has Viramontes’ vote because she “really likes that he wants to create more jobs.”  

“I feel like he’s focused on the future of the county and the future of working-class people and families,” Viramontes said. 

Carolyn Carluccio (R) and Daniel McCaffery (D) are battling for a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court — a seat they’d hold for a 10-year term. Pinocci-Wrightsman said she believes a lot of students are unaware of the fact that they have the opportunity to vote in this race, and thinks it’s important to elect someone who holds democratic values. She said she’s supporting McCaffery. 

“If we don’t vote in ways that represent our population and our values, we don’t get a do-over,” Pinocci-Wrightsman said. “That’s the next 10 years of our lives. It’ll have a huge impact on policies such as abortion care, access to LGBTQ+ rights and fiscal policy.” 

Pinocci-Wrightsman said she’s “extremely passionate” about LGBTQ+ rights, which plays a role in her decision as to who to vote for. 

“I come from a same-sex family, and in ways that a lot of people don’t realize, there are so many ways that these candidates will impact [LGBTQ+] individuals and their ability to thrive in society,” Pinocci-Wrightsman said.   

Platts said voting in the general election is just as important as voting in presidential ones because it “affects the place we live.” 

“Voting, especially in an election like this, can make such a difference,” Platts said. 

Young people are not often consulted on “these types of issues,” according to Pinocci-Wrightsman, so voting is a way to make their voices heard. 

“I think it’s extraordinarily important that we have a say in our present and our future,” Pinocci-Wrightsman said. “The way to do that is by voting.”