Senior Suffrage

Rock the Vote on Nov. 8

By Rebecca Jackson, Online Features Editor

With the presidential election day upon us in less than seven days, the hallways of CHS are buzzing with excitement and nervousness about the two major candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. However, how many of these seemingly politically engaged students will actually go out and vote?

According to the 2012 United States Census Bureau, 18-24 year-olds have consistently held the lowest voting rates out of all voting-age populations. This age group has a 45 percent voting rate compared to the 72 percent voting rate of citizens aged 65 and older. Younger people tend to be more politically involved and vocal, yet disappear when it’s time to hit the polls.

CHS seniors who are eligible must fulfill their civic duty to this country and vote on Nov. 8, for whichever candidate they believe will make positive change for the country in the years to come. Here are five reasons why the upcoming presidential election directly affects CHS seniors, and why everyone eligible to vote should.

  1. Last Year of High School

Politicians agree on very little, but education is one topic that everyone recognizes as important. However, politicians’ methods of improving education may be vastly different. One current discussion in the education sector is whether Common Core, a standardized set of academic standards that have been implemented across the U.S., should be enforced in all 50 states. Candidates take positions on Common Core based on whether they believe educational requirements should be the same across the nation. Many CHS students do not agree with Common Core because it changes class curriculum too often. By voting in this presidential election, students have the opportunity to help elect a candidate that will change or end Common Core.

  1. Beginning and Paying for Higher Education

CHS seniors are in the midst of the college application and acceptance process. CHS has been ranked as  a Blue Ribbon school due to its students’ top grades and stellar achievements. Every year highly ranked colleges accept CHS students, and every year there are people who are unable to go to their “dream school” because of the high price. College tuition and student debt have increased exponentially over the years, and Senator Bernie Sanders was one of the first to take a strong stand against this. Hillary Clinton has followed in his footsteps by arguing that a debt-free college education should be available to anyone and everyone. Her plan includes offering free tuition for all community colleges and increasing taxation and state funding so that financially needy families can send their children to school without being in severe debt. Donald Trump has not taken a clear stance on this issue, although he has said that universities should not be profiting based on putting students into debt. This is an issue that impacts not only CHS seniors, but all CHS students. So all eligible CHS students, go out and vote for the ability to get a higher education no matter who you are.

  1. Collegiate Social Justice Issues

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in every five women and one in every 16 men will be  sexually assaulted while in college. Yet, more than 90 percent of these sexual assault victims do not report the assault. Rape culture is just one of the many social justice issues that increase dramatically on college campuses.

When CHS seniors attend their first day of college next fall, they should not have to worry about sexual assault, discrimination, or dangerous opposition to matters such as abortion. Unfortunately these issues are extremely prevalent in today’s society. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both condemn sexual assault and discrimination, however they disagree on the issue of abortions: Hillary Clinton supports a woman’s right to choose, whereas Donald Trump is pro-life and does not agree with the funding of Planned Parenthood.

  1. Entering the Workforce

Fresh out of college, CHS alumni must start looking for jobs in their preferred field. Finding a reasonably well-paying job may take time due to the competitiveness of the job market and the shrinking of the workforce. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both say that they will fight to create tens of millions of domestic jobs and spur the economy. How they accomplish this ambitious goal and whether it will be successful, will have to be seen in the following years when one of them is in the Oval Office. CHS students follow a long tradition of going to good universities and then getting good jobs. However, no matter how intelligent and poised a student might be, if the economy is not strong then their career will suffer.

  1. Becoming Taxpayers

Once CHS students establish careers, they will be faced with the adult task of paying taxes. The future president has the ability to change the tax code, and either raise or lower one’s tax rate. Donald Trump supports tax cuts for the wealthy, as he believes that it is a disincentive for hard work and motivation. Hillary Clinton wishes to reduce taxes for the middle class; she believes that the wealthy pay too little and the middle class pays too much. Depending on which candidate wins this year’s election, CHS alum could be gaining or losing money in their paychecks.

In the next four, or if re-elected eight, years under the presidency of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, CHS seniors will be creating a life for themselves, and will be going to college, getting and changing jobs, and paying taxes. Our next president’s  policies will shape the ability of CHS students to achieve these goals. Think about that at the ballot box, Bulldogs.