Texoma college students tune into presidential debate

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DURANT, OK -- In the 2008 election, the youth vote played a big role in President Obama's victory. Tonight, many young Texoma voters watched the debate to educate themselves, because they want their votes to make the difference in this election.

Tonight's presidential debate got more than 50 Southeastern students around the TV.

"I feel like they say that we are the least amount to vote because we don't have a big voice. And I feel like going to these debate watches we can have a bigger voice. We can be heard," SOSU student, Evan Wakefiled said.

Some believe watching these debates won't swing votes because people have already made up their minds. But student Katie Rings says for first-time voters the debates matter.

"It could sway a lot of people's opinions here because they don't really know as much information. So, if they watch it and they learn it, it could definitely sway their vote," Rings said.

Most of the students in the room have never watched a debate before and many have never voted in an election. One issue on a lot of the student's minds...

"We want to see about student loans. Grant aid. A lot of us have grant aid and that supports our votes tremendously. And grant aid for sure," Wakefield said.

Austin College student Eristeo Perez says it's the lack of enthusiasm in the young generation that allows the student loan topic to go un-discussed.

"It's kind of ok to discuss you know cutting student loan aid and cutting student federal aid for higher education. You know, it's not that controversial to bring that up because there isn't a huge student voting block that's going to hold our elected officials accountable in that sense," Perez said.

For the last few weeks Austin College organizations have set up a table registering students to vote and more than 200 have registered.

"I'm excited. I mean I've never, this is my first presidential election so I get to, you know, have a voice in that for the first time," Perez said.

Many of these students say they will be sitting in this room again for the final debates in order to become more educated before they cast their vote.

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