Being undecided in Ohio can attract a lot of attention.
And Kathy Chicoine of Cuyahoga Falls certainly saw her share of the limelight from the media and co-workers as she was among a handful of Northeast Ohio undecided voters profiled by TheNewsOutlet.org.
Days before the election, Chicoine has made up her mind.
She will vote. And although she is not excited by either candidate, Chicoine said she plans to cast her vote for Barack Obama.
“This decision would be not as difficult if I had another choice,” Chicoine said.
Chicoine, a special education teacher at Litchfield Middle School in Akron, has received a lot of interest from the media, receiving calls from the BBC and a newspaper in Sweden, asking her to talk about Tuesday’s vote.
This attention has helped Chicoine get more information about each candidate, but she is curious as to why there is so much attention on undecided voters. She isn’t used to the spotlight and pegs herself as an introvert, which makes her a bit uncomfortable being in the media. She worries a lot about how she sounds to people, because she felt for much of the election she was not given all of the details she needed to be an informed voter.
“I hope I don’t sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about,” Chicoine said.
Chicoine also said all this interest on her decision has taken her attention away from other races currently going on.
“In my community there is an important school levy,” Chicoine said. “And as a teacher, I know this is crucial for continuing quality education.”
She said she understands that it is important to give students a 21st century education in order to fill the jobs the candidates are saying they will create.
In Chicoine’s workplace, they have laminated and hung all the articles written about her. The stories have sparked interest in her students. She said the children are all curious and asking her questions about why she was interviewed.
“For me personally, I need to reflect on decisions I must make,” Chicoine said.
TheNewsOutlet.org is a collaborative effort between the Youngstown State University journalism program, Kent State University, the University of Akron and professional media outlets including WYSU-FM Radio, the Vindicator (Youngstown), the Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron).