Should high school students vote

April 1, 2020

With the 2020 Presidential election coming up, it really urges the question of whether or not eligible high school students are going to vote. 18 to 24 year-olds are least likely to vote, yet in the 2016 election, 50 percent of people within that age group showed up at the polls. Historically, younger generations have been able to vastly sway election results. They tend to support more liberal candidates and in 2008, 66% of voters ages 18 to 24 voted for President Obama. Some say that 18-year-olds should be able to exercise their right to vote, yet others disagree.  

“I don’t think young people should vote at all. What they’re voting for doesn’t really affect them,” said senior Gwen Madden. Madden’s family has never really been involved in politics, and they believe that their vote doesn’t matter. “When it comes down to it, it’s not that important because the electoral college is the only vote that matters anyways,” Madden added.  

With the electoral college, each state only gets a certain number of electors based on representation in Congress and the electors cast one electoral vote in the general election, based on how their districts voted. In a way, it’s kind of representative but as witnessed in the 2016 presidential election, a candidate can win popular vote but not enough electoral votes to win presidency 

While Madden says young people shouldn’t vote, AP Comparative Government and Politics teacher Jordan Boyer thinks otherwise. It is too easy for people to sayoh, I’m not really into politics, or come up with some other excuse as to why they don’t participate,” said Boyer, who wishes people would be more active in politics.  

Another argument against young people voting is that not all high school students keep themselves educated enough about politics to feel that they should have a voice. Regardless, senior Miyah Rodriguez plans to research more about politics, saying, “I think young people should allow themselves to be educated in all candidates and then vote, because looking at all the candidates opinions on multiple topics can sway their vote a lot.” Adding to that, Boyer said, “I believe that it is imperative that young people participate in the election process. [They] need to understand the power that citizens have and it only works when people get involved.”  

 

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