This archived article was written by: Gypsie Delgado
Lt. Gov. Gayle F. McKeachnie, visited CEU’s campus September 30 to inform students about voting and to encourage them to vote.
Appointed by Gov. Olene S. Walker, McKeachnie has been the lieutenant governor since Nov. 5, 2003. Part of his job is heading up state efforts concerning wilderness, roads and public land issues. McKeachnie is chief election officer for the State of Utah, chairs the Utah Commission on Volunteers, keeps custody of the Great Seal of Utah, maintains a register and attests to all official acts, documents and instruments to which the official signature of the governor is required, oversees the state authentication and notarization offices and serves on a number of boards and commission including Capitol Preservations Board, Disaster Emergency Advisory Council and State Board of Canvassers.
At CEU McKeachnie discussed how he had to wait until he was 21 to vote because voting age did not change until 1970 when Congress changed the voting age to 18. He discussed the Vietnam War and how many did not think it was fair that you could be drafted and not have the right to vote. If you were old enough to pack a rifle, then you’re old enough to vote.
He also discussed why young people do not vote. “They ignore you because you don’t vote and you don’t vote because they ignore you,” McKeachnie stated. He also addressed that Kerry and Bush just barely started targeting young people in their campaigns. In 2000 only 37 percent of 18-24 year olds voted and continue to be the least age category of voters. “We need to vote because it’s an opportunity to do what we sometimes might take for granted.”
In politics you have to satisfy people to retain your job. “Issues do not determine how people vote,” McKeachnie said. He shared a story about when JFK and Nixon where running for president and how people where discussing voting for the better looking of the two. He discussed how this was not a very good way to pick a candidate. Instead ask yourself questions like, “Do I like this guy and can I trust him?” He encouraged students to get involved by volunteering for local politicians because they are starving for help. “The world is ran by those who show up.”