Students Take on Voting in the 2020 Election

Students+Take+on+Voting+in+the+2020+Election

Lauren Stallworth, Editor

Today, November 3rd is Election Day for the 2020 U.S Presidency. Starting early this morning, millions of Americans will be casting their vote to determine who will run our nation for the next four years. While every election is exciting and historic, this year seems to hold a special significance due to the state of our country: we are amidst a deadly pandemic that has killed thousands of Americans, experiencing a major civil rights movement, and trying to determine the truth in dozens of scandals within the government – not to mention the typical debates in policies that accompany every election.
This election will also be unique in that some states are allowing mail-in ballots to be accepted after today, meaning that we may not know who won the popular vote for days or weeks.
Despite these abnormalities, voting is as important as ever, if not more so. With hot-button issues and many unique situations that none of us have experienced in our lifetime, it is crucial that American’s voices are heard.
The right and ability to vote is something that is drilled into us from a young age; but as teenagers, this is likely the most involved we’ve been in an election. Perhaps we remembered and understand previous ones, but there’s not the same closeness and relevancy. We are now not only old enough to fully understand both what this means for our country as well as what is happening in the world around us, but we can appreciate its importance: we are dictating the future of our nation, and that choice lies in our hands.
While most of us are not old enough to vote yet, we do have some students here at Cypress Creek who can. I spoke to senior Natty Northey, who just turned 18 in September, about being able to vote in his first election. Having the ability to vote was exciting and important to him, and felt it’s really important to exercise that right “It was a really cool experience. There’s not a lot of young adults voting, and in a few years, those are going to be our main decision-makers. We need people who understand how it’s done and what’s best for us, so that’s why it’s important to vote now.” Another senior who I spoke to, Jariel Sierra, also talked about why it is so important that we vote – especially for young adults, “Voting is important because it gives you a sense of independence like you’re taking charge and voting for who you want to. A young person can choose not to have their choices be made for them by other people.” They both also got to experience the extremely long lines for voting, as we will all in time get to enjoy as well. On a serious note, I asked Natty if there was any advice or tips he could give those of us that will be voting in the next election, and he made an extremely good point, “Research what you want to vote for and know what you believe. Don’t go in there just voting for what your party believes in, vote for what you believe in.”
The inability to vote (for those of us under 18) does not mean our opinions and actions are any less important. Eventually, we will be able to vote; in four years actually, and it will come faster than we think. Learning how the process works now is important in order to make the most educated decision, as well as what’s most authentic to your opinions and viewpoints.
We may not feel that we have a voice now, but in reality, we do. It may not be reflected on an official ballot for now, but our everyday actions can still impact the nation; not to mention the foundations you can set for yourself now in knowing how to vote and its significance.
As we go through this election process and Presidential term, there will continue to be many unprecedented and shocking moments. This is a very heated debate, and regardless of who wins the Presidency, there will be a wave of emotions and likely anger. While it’s easy to get caught up in the aggression of politics, we all have to remember to respect one another – we need unity, not more animosity. Today is a day to vote and make your voice as a citizen heard, and for those who don’t yet have that ability, it is your day to take in the historical significance of what you are witnessing. Take advantage of it.
The Howler will continue to cover the election as we all anxiously anticipate the results of who our next President will be and the activities that follow.