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Importance of educated voters during elections

THURS.| 11-10-22 | OPINION

     Midterm elections are taking place this November. As a student in high school who will be eligible to vote next year, I think it’s important that my fellow classmates and I should be more educated about local, state and federal elections. 

     High school leads you into adulthood, as well the responsibilities that withhold it. Many students turn 18 during their senior year with no education on candidates for local, state and federal elections on who they wish to vote for. I have always grown up in a household where my parents wanted me to form my own political opinion. I feel that it is important for those on their way to adulthood to have an opinion on their local representatives by voting. 

     The first step into learning more about politics and elections is the decision to register to vote. You can pre-register for voting as soon as you obtain your driver's license, making you automatically eligible 

Election Graphic - Ginny .png

Graphic by Ginny Blount

to vote at 18. Taking this first step will enable you to form a political opinion by the time election day rolls around and the polls are open. 

     There are plenty of ways for students to educate themselves on upcoming elections. A typical research method would be to search for a candidate's platform. Their public platform will give a clear stance on their beliefs and ideals as to why they would be an ideal candidate in the position they are running for. Comparing their platforms will allow a level playing field to help you decide on what candidate to vote for. When I turn 18 and am eligible to vote, I will be browsing through candidates' platforms to have a better understanding of their ideals, instead of browsing based through the media. 

     Social media can produce fake intentions of campaigns during elections. With the spread of opinionated and false news, certain areas of social media can falsely inform students on candidates or political parties. Adding onto this, TV ads are not the best source of education of candidates. It feels like all I see during election month are ads for candidates downplaying other candidates instead of advocating for their own beliefs. This is not professional or effective for a representative’s campaign. This 15 second commercial ad is also not going to fully educate a student on who they should vote for, being that the only thing those ads do is criticize the candidate's opponent. 

     Public schools across the United States should better educate high school students on the steps and procedures of elections. A great way to promote this education would be for schools to encourage the utilization of political party tests to help students figure out what political party their beliefs are in favor of. Certain classes at Rose offer this during the course, such as Civics and AP United States Government. Teachers giving this opportunity to students can really kick-start the process of further educating students on political parties for elections. 

     I know that in today's society many prefer to keep politics out of certain matters in their day-to-day life, but if we are all being honest it’s never going to be this way. Politics do not have to be shared, it is rather the importance of educating the younger generation on how to vote. Forming an opinion on what changes students want in their community, state and federal government is essential. This role is in their hands when given the responsibility to vote and it’s important to know that.

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