Peter Loganbill, Collegian news editor: “During the past few weeks, you did a voter registration drive here on campus. Saw you tabling in the Union every single day. What made you want to do that?”
Hayley Spellman, senior in communication studies and political science, Student Governing Association elections commissioner and founder of Wildcats Vote: “We’ve been talking about my internship with the Kansas Democratic Party, but I have found a massive passion for doing non-partisan work.”
“And I think doing non-partisan work has really opened my eyes and allowed me to talk to everyone, no matter whether they’re a Republican or a Democrat, or they’re unaffiliated, have no kind of interest in politics whatsoever. It gives me the opportunity to reach out and engage with every person no matter what.
“And this year, I actually founded a non-partisan student organization called Wildcats Vote and that’s what we were doing our voter registration drive [for], and on Tuesday, with the election, the ‘Why I Vote’ campaign.”
Loganbill: “After this local election, Riley County, Manhattan, what do you think, what were some of the key results and what do you think is going to impact students the most?”
Spellman: “The thing that’s going to impact students the most, I think, there’s going to be — actually for the city of Manhattan, all of it would impact us in some way or form. If you were a voter in Manhattan, there were four issues that you were voting on.
“So, the first one being City Commission, the second one being school board, the third one being a constitutional amendment for the state of Kansas that was focused on the 2020 census and how they readjust for college students and military. And then the fourth, if, again, if you were a voter in Manhattan specifically, was the issue of sales tax.
“So, with the exception of school board, all three of the other things that we would, that we were voting on really impact us on a day-to-day basis. City commissioners, for example, they are the group of individuals that focus on housing and [what] they can do with sales tax and focus on our daily lives as we live in Manhattan.
“And then sales tax, of course, is pretty clear, how we spend money, we spend more on sales tax. The constitutional amendment for next year was very crucial in how we’re counted in the state of Kansas.”
Loganbll: “What was the result of the sales tax vote?”
Spellman: “It actually was voted down. So right now for sales tax in Manhattan, it is 8.95 percent, the issue on the ballot was to increase it by 0.3 percent. So they wanted to make it 9.25 percent. I don’t remember what percentage voted against versus for, but it was struck down so, no sales tax increase.”
Interested in learning more about what Hayley Spellman does and her thoughts on the local election in this Q&A? Check out the “Collegian Kultivate” podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.