Colt Chronicle

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The Power of a Student Vote

Why students need to vote when they turn 18

In+the+midterm+elections%2C+Bob+Menendez+of+the+Democratic+Party+will+run+against+Bob+Hugin+of+the+Republican+party+for+one+seat+on+the+United+States+Senate+representing+New+Jersey.
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The Power of a Student Vote

In the midterm elections, Bob Menendez of the Democratic Party will run against Bob Hugin of the Republican party for one seat on the United States Senate representing New Jersey.

In the midterm elections, Bob Menendez of the Democratic Party will run against Bob Hugin of the Republican party for one seat on the United States Senate representing New Jersey.

In the midterm elections, Bob Menendez of the Democratic Party will run against Bob Hugin of the Republican party for one seat on the United States Senate representing New Jersey.

In the midterm elections, Bob Menendez of the Democratic Party will run against Bob Hugin of the Republican party for one seat on the United States Senate representing New Jersey.

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Editors Note: The following is an opinion article by the editorial staff of the Colt Chronicle. Its content reflects only the opinion of the editorial staff and not the opinion of the rest of the staff, the Colt Chronicle adviser, its readership, or Kinnelon High School.

On Nov. 6 the midterm elections will determine who will take 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the U.S. Senate. The most important results of this election is whether the Republicans will maintain majority of both houses of Congress or if the Democrats will gain control. This election season is just around the corner and it is time to wake up and vote.

Throughout recent years, expressive media outlets and convoluted politics have lost touch with what American Democracy is truly all about: the power of the people.

That’s right, folks. The U.S. government can only function properly with the consent of the citizens; politicians only gain power from being voted into office and big issues are mainly discussed through political engagement. Why then, is voter turnout so low particularly among young adults?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in every presidential election since 1964, young voters between the ages of 18 through 29 have consistently voted at lower rates than all other age groups. In 2016, for example, voter turnout for those aged 18-29 was only 46.1 percent compared to 70.9 percent for those aged 65 and up. The statistics are even worse for Congressional elections. In the 2014 midterm elections, only 21 percent of adults ages 18-29 voted.

Perhaps one of the reasons for such a low voter turnout is that many young people do not know what a midterm election is. During an interview, senior Max Gee said “I’m like 50 percent sure what a midterm election is,” as he Googled the term on his phone.

Many people feel that teens are also not educated enough to vote properly. senior Abby Bosh said, “Students who aren’t educated or who don’t pay attention and keep up with it shouldn’t be allowed to vote.”

On the other hand, senior Zachary Sedlacek said  “If you’re not educated, I think rather than just not voting, you should educate yourself and be up to date on things so you can vote.” Sedlacek already turned 18 and is eligible to vote in the midterms. From experience, he also said, “I personally make it a rule for myself before I go for [an election] to be educated.”

Despite the historically low voter turnout, many other KHS students agree with Sedlacek and feel that teens should vote when they turn 18. The seniors especially have a lot to say on this issue, because they will be able to vote very soon.

“I think it’s very important [to vote] because we all need to have a say and the only way democracy works is if everybody participates,” said senior Greg Brinster.

Senior Gabe Lipinski said, “As long as you vote for who you think is right then I think our country will thrive and will be better off as a whole.”

Likewise, AP U.S. Government and Politics teacher Matthew Arroyo said, “I feel that all individuals who are 18 or older should be voting in our democracy. It is one of our civic duties that we should be doing as a nation.”

Even so, some KHS students don’t feel the same way. In answer to the question “Do you plan to vote?” senior Alicja Weglarz said, “I say yes, but I know I’m not… It’s such a hassle because I feel busy already.”

However, senior Danielle Donker mentioned that “Voting only takes two minutes! You literally walk in, cast your vote, and walk out.”

Senior Cooper Bresky said,  “[People] think that they don’t have the time [to vote] and that’s a poor excuse.” Bresky also said that “If [you] have a strong opinion, especially a political opinion and [you] have the chance to vote, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? It just doesn’t make sense.”

It’s not just Seniors that want to vote, but also underclassmen. Junior Nina Santy said, “It’s important because you’re the younger generation so you have different perspectives about… what you want for the future… and no one else is going to be able to do that for you.”

Similarly, Sophomore Kayla Tehrani said, “I think it is important so we can get the more recent generation’s opinions [in] the world.”

Perhaps these interviews suggest that KHS students may grow up to challenge the low young voter turnout. Maybe Generation Z will be the first to show up for the midterm election in staggering numbers. The power of the government comes from the people and if young adults want their voices to be heard, they must register to vote.

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