Local elections impact life at East

Story by Kaitlyn Meehan, Staff Writer

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Michelle Obama. Tom Hanks. Megan Rapinoe. All members of a dedicated group of influencers with voter registration at heart. 

Many of East Meck’s juniors and seniors will have their first chance to vote in the 2020 presidential election. Because of this, they are the target audience for these influencers campaign.The upcoming election is becoming even more prevalent to the student body at East. The clock ticks, and with less than a year until election day, people seem to forget how important a successful, untainted election is.

“I feel like since I am considered a minority, now that I have the right to vote, it’s a way that I can be heard,” senior Andrea Sanchez said. 

When Sanchez went to vote just days after her 18th birthday, she was told at the polls that she was not registered, and therefore unable to vote. Since she had the misconception that she would be able to register on sight, Sanchez was disappointed that she would not be able to voice her opinion. 

While teens are at the forefront of the active voter movement, many are not getting the proper information they need about elections and how to participate in them. 

“Older people vote in almost every election,” said civics and economics teacher Todd Statome. “I want to see young people get excited about the process.” 

When young people’s voices are ostracized, an uneven divide among voters and political parties alike is created. Since those aged 70-85 tend to have more conservative beliefs and those who are 60 and under are generally more liberal in their voting patterns, older voters showing up in larger quantities than young people is building a future for people who will not be here when it arrives. 

“When voting resources are available, I try to open those sources to my [club] members as well as contacting other people to come to East Meck and help them register as well,” Activism Club President Rute Ayalew said. 

The thing is, the results of elections, big or small, impact nations for years after the turn out. The effects of The Great Depression were still prevalent until a decade later, when the stock market returned to its original number. Even then, unemployment rates were higher than before. This shows that if the person elected makes an uninformed decision, it can affect people in the U.S. for much longer than just their term. If elections don’t turn out the way that either party wants them to, it sets a negative precedent. 

Every election will affect the general public. Although presidential elections have the largest voter turnout, school board and sheriff ballots will greatly influence smaller communities and their future as well. The board of education quite seriously makes decisions that will impact the future of the country that they serve. When it comes down to it, even if you don’t have the time to rally, to protest, to call your senators, voting is the only unalienable way that you are able to voice your opinion.  

If the countries elected leaders are not honorable and well-informed, they will send out an ignorant communication to other countries. These leaders could affect foriegn trade and negotiations with other countries. This is why it is important to research, and show up for who you think should win the election.

“Voting is the great equalizer, voting gives everybody the opportunity to voice love frustration, their need to express their freedom, [and] their desire to be a part of the whole process,” Statome said.