Soon-to-be-voting seniors


Alex Gresham

Seniors begin to embark on their journey as voting citizens. Do they feel prepared, or has our school neglected voter education altogether?

Senior year for most high schoolers entails the scarier aspects of finally growing up. Chief among these concerns for seniors is one of the defining moments of adulthood: registering to vote. During this time period, students often have many concerns about voting such as who to vote for, where to vote and how to register. High schools across the nation often appear to lack the answers.

As senior Nathan Mills explains, the school doesn’t provide any experience or voter education for students. For mills, the only reason he’s truly anxious about voting is because he, like many younger voters, fears that a lack of information will inhibit him from making a decision that truly reflects his best interests. Many students share Mills’ concern in regards to voting; their biggest concern is feeling unprepared for the voting process.

While adults have more knowledge…the future that we’re making through government ultimately serves us and we’re the ones living in it so the impacts of government are specifically meant for us; it’s probably best if we shape our own future rather than having it be shaped for us”

— Ian Johnson

There are 570 seniors in the Class of 2020. Assuming that many other high schoolers share similar anxiety towards the voting process, it’s fair to say that this lack of preparation plays a factor in detrimental voter turnout among young Americans. In 2016, “Only half of eligible adults between the ages of 18 and 29” voted in the presidential election, according to The Atlantic. This begs the question: what can we do to improve the voter turnout among young people in the US?

Currently, some classes offer opportunities for students to become well-informed voting citizens. For instance, AP government takes the time to offer voter registration to students in the class. Government teacher Bruce Aster hopes that this helps forgetful students avoid putting off registering at the last minute. When asked about the importance of programs offered at school, Aster explained how he facilitates a student-run debate held in the CAC every year. Aster brings in local representatives from multiple parties and has the students debate and ask questions about real-world issues.

However, the effort to educate all our students should not rest on the shoulders of one teacher. The school must improve the communication they have with soon-to-be voters. Despite who’s at fault in this case, this miscommunication needs resolution; students need to have the information to make smart decisions that deeply impact their future. Voting is an important aspect of our generation and beyond. Student voices are not something to be neglected.

In order for young voters to understand the significance of elections, it is both the duty of CHS and students to ensure that we have opportunities to be involved in voting. Whether it be an increase in classes that further student interest in politics or more involvement from CHS in voter awareness, it needs to be done to address the disconnect between our school and the young voters of America.