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Your Vote, Your Voice!

Poster created by students were hung up throughout the school. Issues to Actions Club and Alyssa Niece’s civics students outlined the importance of the vite to get students excited to hit the polls.

Poster created by students were hung up throughout the school. Issues to Actions Club and Alyssa Niece’s civics students outlined the importance of the vite to get students excited to hit the polls.

Tatum Thompson, Reporter

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Being able to cast a vote and directly pick the people in positions of political power is fundamental to democracy.

On Tuesday, Nov 6, American citizens were able to exercise their right to elect state officials. In an online  poll answered by 60 Taft seniors, 26.7% were eligible to vote while only 21.7% actually voted. For some Taft seniors, this was their first time filling out a ballot and engaging in the political process.

“Voting allows me to voice my opinion on what really matters to me,” said first time voter and senior Keely Simon (Div. 945). “I am voting because there are a lot of things that need to change,” Simon said when asked what brought her to the polls.Though some voter-eligible students immediately knew the importance of their vote, some still needed to be swayed.

Senior Ricardo Roman (Div. 934) was apprehensive if his voice would truly be heard. “Our vote does not matter. Hillary had so many more votes, but Trump is the President. That does not seem fair,” expressed Roman. His confusion and frustration seems valid, however, the election that took place this fall was a midterm general election, and the electoral college – which is how President Trump won the 2016 presidential election despite losing the popular vote – was not involved.Students and teachers alike understand that politics and the process of voting for the first time can be confusing, which is why Eagles worked to inform peers on where to begin.

Senior Xiema Novoa (Div. 924) has been sharing online resources such as a simulation ballot to successfully educate her friends on what exactly to expect on the ballot, getting them excited for their first election.

United States History and Civics Teacher, Alyssa Niese, had students create posters outlining the power of the vote. Niese finds it especially important to encourage students to vote as soon as they can, explaining that “if you establish patterns of involvement at a very early age, you are going to stay involved throughout your life.”

Nationally, only 37% of eligible voters casted their vote in the 2014 midterm election. However, during the 2018 midterm, nearly 48% of the voter eligible population voted.* Though that is a massive increase in participation, it is still not enough. Voting is not only a right, it is a civic duty. There are a plethora of online resources to enlighten anyone on local candidates and the process of registering to vote, such as ISideWith.com and USA.gov, leaving no excuse for those able to vote to sit idly by. Democracy only works efficiently with willing participants eager to create change and make their voice heard.

Source;

*http://www.electproject.org/2018g

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