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Voting for the first time is an exciting milestone in any 18-years-old’s life. It is an opportunity to voice one’s opinion in politics and be a part of a decision that will affect the future of the U. S. With this year’s election in full swing, some students in the class of 2021 are of age to vote, but this election is different from those in the past.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s election will look a little different. Not only will 18-year-olds have to learn how to register and vote for the first time, many will have to learn how to make necessary adjustments to stay safe during the election. With that being said, this is still an exciting time to be voting for the first time, and many WCHS students look forward to being a part of U.S. history.
“I am most excited to have a voice and actually be a part of something that will make a change regardless of the outcome,” senior Rera Ibraheem said.
Through protests, petitions, and social media posts, it is clear that Generation Z is not afraid to use their voice and stand up for what they believe is right. This is something that is crucial to the future of our country and will hopefully make for a high voter turnout in young voters.
While some voters tend to go along with the beliefs of their parents and peers, many are realizing the importance of educating themselves to form their own beliefs and opinions.
“Especially now, I feel like the younger generation is really taking a stand on important issues and a lot of people are going against their parents beliefs,” senior Abby Howard said. “I think the younger generation’s approach is to educate ourselves as much as we can rather than saying if something is right or wrong.”
Getting involved in the election is a great way to become more informed about what is going on in the world and in politics. It forces you to pay more attention to current events and the issues that affect our country. While some people feel that politics and the news are interesting, others find that they started paying more attention when there is an election that they will be voting in taking place.
“I have never paid attention to politics but now, especially since I can vote, I am definitely paying more attention and trying to gather as much information to be as educated as I can,” Howard said.
Conversely, other students find that elections are something that they have always had an interest in, despite being too young to vote. These students are excited to vote, as elections are events that they have been following for years.
“I am always very well informed during elections just because it is something that I find very interesting and important for the well-being of many,” Ibraheem said.
Compared to past years, this election will have many differences because of COVID-19. Many have been instilled with fear about mail-in ballots and if they will cause the election to be inaccurate. This has raised concern in the public because there may be people who skip out on voting this year due to distress of contracting the virus by voting in person, and not participating in the mail-in ballot.
“I am a little concerned that voters who usually go to the polls will not vote this year if they believe mail-in ballots will be inaccurate or tampered with,” senior Jack Punda said.
Citizens not voting this year because of the pandemic is a valid concern during this election, which is why it is more important than ever for young people to vote. According to The Hill, 77% of registered voters between the ages of 17 to 35 plan on voting in this upcoming election, which is a vast increase from years prior. Our generation can make a change in our country, and the first step to doing so is going to the polls or using a mail-in ballot to vote for who we believe should be the next U.S. president.
“I think that it is an important time for young people to vote because we can use this opportunity to push for change and contribute to a progressive generation ahead of us,” Punda said.