Do you believe everything you read or hear? With the elections coming up, it is important that we utilize our powers of independent thinking and critical reasoning. In the Daily Nexus and on campus, students have accused 3rd District Supervisor candidate Steve Pappas of attempting to deny the students of UCSB and residents of Isla Vista their right to vote. These allegations against Pappas are completely unfounded and without merit. The truth is, in the 2008 elections for County Supervisor between Steve Pappas and Doreen Farr, voter turnout in Isla Vista was 101 percent. In one of the precincts, it was a whopping 130 percent. Pappas realized that something was clearly wrong and that these resulting numbers were simply not possible, unless voter irregularities had occurred. Therefore, he asked for a re-count; this is where the confusion began.

Asking for a re-count is the right of any candidate running for public office and is completely different from throwing votes out. The accusations that Pappas wanted votes thrown out are absolutely untrue and ridiculous. In asking for a re-count, Pappas was able to obtain backup documentation regarding votes cast in the precincts that showed over 100 percent voter turnout. The civil case led to a criminal investigation and the sheriff’s report concluded that numerous felonies had been committed, including voter fraud, forgery and identity fraud.

However, many student voters don’t know this because anti-Steve campaigners do not reveal this information. Their low-blow propaganda against Pappas — incessantly calling him a sore loser and rudely holding up signs next to Pappas reading “Scumbag” — are disrespectful and in bad taste; not to mention, these allegations have nothing to do with the actual facts and issues at hand. I hope that all of you will take it upon yourselves to learn about Pappas rather than immediately buying into everything you read or hear. I expect that any adult would evaluate their options before making any important decisions in their lives. With that being said, these people that are trashing Pappas consider themselves open-minded and informed voters, yet most of them have neither met nor spoken to him. On occasion, I have even asked several of these students to voice their concerns to Pappas personally, which they refused. This, in my opinion, certainly classifies them as closed-minded and uninformed.

Pappas has every right to run and it’s ironic that th Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus. We welcome all submissions; please include name & major and keep columns under 550 words.e very people who claim to advocate free speech are the ones trying to silence Pappas and his message. They do this because they are afraid that the truth will come out. Many students have had preconceived notions about Pappas because of what they have heard; and after all the horrible things said about him, how could they not? However, after speaking with Pappas personally and hearing his side of the story, almost all of them have changed their opinions about him. In fact, many are shocked and even embarrassed that they had allowed themselves to be so gullible and closed-minded.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t reject Steve Pappas before you know him. Be an independent thinker. I encourage everyone to keep an open mind and take the initiative to get informed. Pappas is on campus nearly every day of the week to speak with the students. You have no excuse and nothing to lose.

Rachel Kim is a fourth-year UCSB student and is currently employed by the Pappas campaign.

Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus. We welcome all submissions; please include name & major and keep columns under 550 words.