For first-time voters, navigating the process can be confusing any year, however, with COVID-19 restrictions some are deciding between in-person or absentee ballots to cast their vote.
Seniors Sam Dodd and Jeffry Davis will be voting in person, due to worries of votes getting lost in the mail. “I think it is important to vote because it allows your voice, no matter who you are, to have a say in something you believe in,” Dodd said.
Dodd said he believes at this age it’s important to vote because it adds a unique point of view to the voting polls, since the ideas that 18-year-olds have could be different compared to the other ages voting. “I realized the significance of voting when I learned more about how our government works,” Dodd said, “It allows for the people to have a say in what goes in government, that can allow for great transparency throughout the nation with the people and the government.”
Dodd said he believes that only voting is not enough. “There are always ways to peacefully have your voice heard, and along with that I think it is important for people, when they believe in something, that they voice that and do things that stand for that belief,” Dodd said.
According to Dodd, making an impact can come in many ways other than voting, such as going to protests and peacefully having conversations with people who have different opinions. “Sharing ideas is the best thing we can do,” Dodd said, “It allows for such a more expanded point of view.”
Davis also said he believes people should be involved in politics beyond simply voting. “People should always strive to be an active part of politics in your country, when the people become complacent the government starts to take more and more,” Davis said, “Any involvement in politics is better than none, we just need to actually do something rather than doing something for popularity, whatever that may be.”
Although senior Megan Brown isn’t old enough to vote yet, she said she still believes it’s important to vote, especially as a young person, because the youths’ voices help give an accurate representation of the mass populous. “If we don’t contribute we will end up stuck with the same outdated and old fashioned values that the older generations have held in place for so long,” Brown said, “When you vote, you put yourself in history and you help create a better political climate for everyone around you.”
Brown also said she believes it’s important for youth to vote because they are some of the most informed and active people in several human rights campaigns and political issues. “People our age seem to better understand certain hardships and problems we face today, such as women’s rights, climate change, black lives matter, and other human rights issues that should not be part of politics.”
Brown said she was raised to believe that voting is a right and a responsibility and from that, she has always believed it is extremely important to vote. Social media is a great way to have your voice heard and raise awareness on issues you believe are important, according to Brown. She said she loves seeing Instagram posts and stories with resources, personal anecdotes, and infographics about current events.
“Being someone who can’t vote, all I feel like I can do is keep educating myself and having conversations with my family and close friends about how important it is to vote,” Brown said, “Although I’m very sad that I personally can’t vote, I take pride in the knowledge that my family and the people around me are voting and encouraging their circles to do so as well.