• Amrutha Nandakumar

GHS Seniors Plan to Vote for the First Time

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

For many, 2020 has been an unprecedented year in every aspect. From school to relationships with friends and family, the world changed suddenly, and people across the globe have been left to adapt as quickly as possible. In this fashion of unusual circumstances, the election also has changed, making it a race unlike any other.

At GHS, some students will be voting for the first time.

Trent Boone, a senior, said, “It feels like a big moment and my growth from a child to adulthood… I feel like this election, as a presidential election, carries a lot more weight than if I had turned 18 in a year… a general kind of election wouldn't have as much of an impact on a national scale.”

This election has brought new challenges for voters, especially in the midst of a pandemic. New voters will be confronted with some new conditions. Citizens are relying on forms of voting which were previously not used as often, such as mail-in ballots. While mail-in ballots may be physically safer, many are choosing to forgo them in favor of voting in person, which is more standard but has a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure.

“I think that even with everything going on with COVID and how voting is probably going to be a little bit more of a challenge in person this year, I think that's just the easier way and much safer knowing that nothing can happen between when you vote and when it gets in,” Boone said.

The current polarization in the country has added to the challenges normally faced in an election.

When asked about it, Lena Thakor, another senior and new voter, said, “I think it increased in the past four years, and it's present among kids our age. I think it really prevents any productive political discourse from happening, so I think it's really damaging.”

These students, all members of Generation Z (Gen Z), are aware that their votes may influence how the government pursues certain issues.

Sasha Demidova, a senior at GHS, said, “I feel like, for the younger voters, it's more about human rights than it is about the economy and stuff.” Many consider Gen Z as a politically active generation, as shown by their involvement in social movements like March For Our Lives and Black Lives Matter. Now that some members are able to vote, they could change the government for years to come.

Julius Engelen, another senior, said that with "all the controversial topics and everything going on with the movements happening… everyone wants to get their voice heard." This year, they can have that chance.

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