By Ting Ren ’17
Being able to vote is a right and responsibility. As seniors reach adulthood, they are able to make decisions for themselves by choosing candidates they favor.
In order for seniors to register to vote, they must fill in papers about themselves and their political party.
“It took about 10-15 minutes to fill in the registration papers, but I kind of felt peer pressured since people sitting around you could see what you bubbled in on the scantron,” said Vladyslav Chzhen ’16.
According to Ms. Beth Vershleiser, Assistant Principal of the Social Studies Department, there were about 20 senior classes this year and 457 seniors registered to vote. Although this may seem to be a small number, not all seniors are 18 and registering is not mandatory.
In previous years, registers were usually given registration papers in class by their social studies teachers. This year however, a non-profit organization called the Christopher Rose Community Campaign asked the school if they could come and host the registration. The organization gave a small presentation stressing the importance of civic engagement and political involvement.
Ms. Vershleiser believes that allowing seniors to vote brings emphasis to the impact of participating in the political process.
“I would vote for Bernie Sanders because he looks up for the younger generation such as offering free colleges. Especially when prices and the cost of living are going up, it’s difficult for students to pay tuition,” said Colleen Simon ’16.
Mariam Qayyum ’16, also supports Bernie Sanders due to his views such as focusing more on the people, economy and gun control rather than minorities or favoring the wealthy.
While being able to vote is an exciting thing, it’s also important to consider sources where voters are getting information. This may include ideas, commitments and policies of politicians. Especially in the 21st century, the media holds a huge and powerful influence over the public. Acknowledging where information is derived is critical when making final decisions.
“Now that we are eligible to vote, it is awesome that we can have an impact on the government by choosing candidates that represents us. Since we do hold the right, we can’t really complain,” said Chzhen ’16.
Chzhen plans to continue to vote every year in the local, state and national level.
In most cases, problems that people face compel them to vote for change and improvement. After all, according to Ms. Vershleiser, voting is “a fundamental right.” So, why not take advantage?