Irish Get Involved in Election

Some had problems getting their absentee ballots, others did not. Some wanted to keep their views private, others did not. There are clearly differences in politics inside the Notre Dame locker room, but that is not a bad thing.

There is no doubt that the Notre Dame locker room is one divided, but not by anything on the field.

"You go in the locker room, it's everywhere. You see guys with Obama shirts, you see guys with pins for McCain, I think someone was even saying, ‘Oh, I voted for Nader,'" Sam Young said. "Everyone's got their opinion. Over the last week and a half, you want to talk about some discussions? You go in there right now, usually it's VH1 or ESPN or something like that, it's Fox News, CNN. Everyone has really gotten swept up in this election."

But according to Young, the divisions are not mean-spirited and actually serve to bring the team closer together.

"I think it's a good thing for the team," he said. "Maybe there's a guy you don't know as well personally, maybe it lets you in a little more to his personal life a little bit more."

The Florida native voted absentee, but it was not easy.

"It's important. I had to jump through a couple of hoops to be able to eventually get my ballot," he said. "It turned in to quite a complicated process."

Initially, Young's parents tried to have the ballot sent to him at Notre Dame. That did not work so they tried to get it and send it to him themselves. When that did not work Young's mom had to go to the elections office, get the ballot and bring it to Indiana for the Pittsburgh game where he could fill it out and she could bring it back.

"This is the first election that I've been able to vote," Young said. "As closely contested as it seems to be, I just think it's a freedom and a privilege that we are afforded and we need to take advantage of it."

Dan Wenger did not have any problems getting his absentee ballot as he simply filled it out when he back to Florida over fall break.

Young and Wenger are both from Coral Springs, which is in Broward County and was a hotbed of activity during the Florida Recount in 2000.

"I remember going down by the courthouse and there were demonstrations and what not and kind of getting caught up in the middle of it," Young said. "It was a lot of fun, it was just an interesting experience."

Young, who was in seventh grade in 2000, declined to elaborate on his level of involvement.

"I'm not going to talk about that," he laughed. "We'll just say I was there."

Young said that while he will discuss his beliefs with friends, he does not think it's appropriate to do it in public.

"With people I'm close with that's something I talk about, but openly I don't flaunt my views," he said. "Unlike my girlfriend."

Haywood was not as guarded with his feelings. The Texas native also voted absentee and left his meeting with the press by raising an arm and chanting "Obama! Obama!"

Weis voted in the morning and said that while he did not feel it was necessary for him to share his personal beliefs, he would speak with his team about the importance of the election to the country. But even with the potential reshaping of the country, he was still more concerned with this week's game.

"Right now the election I'm worrying about is going up to Boston, going up to Chestnut Hill to see if we can't do some damage right there." Top Stories