Every Vote Counts

Young votes are vital in this election, and new voters could make a significant impact.



   Many students would agree that 2020 is a huge year for politics. Republican and current president Donald Trump is running against Democrat and former Vice President Joe Biden for President. With passions running so high around politics, nowadays some members of the US see this election as one that will make or break America’s politics.

   Why Student Votes Matter

   Many younger generation voters don’t understand the impact they can make. AP Government teacher Ronald Ludwig expresses the importance of student votes. 

“If you’re going to be politically engaged and going to care about what happens to this country, you’re going to engage and try and make decisions that are best for the community,” Ludwig said. 

   Senior Kyler James from Young Republicans wants to make it known to every student that their voice and opinion matters. 

   “I mean everyone’s so divided now it’s appropriate to ask to do student votes matter,” James said. “Because they do now. Politics are in everything we do and even though you can’t legally vote until you’re eighteen, I think that you should use your voice. Try to motivate those who can vote, even if it’s just your friends in high school or your parents with different mindsets than your own.”

   Now is the time for student voters to stand up for what they believe. Cotton notices the decline in younger generation voters and it’s taking a toll on student voices being heard. 

   “The voting power a student holds is a lot more than we might think,” Senior Olivia Cotton said. “Younger people will be the ones responsible for this election. I truly believe that. The younger generation– people in this school included– have to recognize the right that they have and use it to promote something they believe in. There’s been a common issue these past elections– young individuals aren’t showing up. Now more than ever it’s time to stand up for something.


Photo by Charlene Nguyen

What to Expect 

   Member of Young Democrats and senior Cole Bower believed the most impactful part of the election will be what happens after one of the candidates is officially president. 

   “It’s going to be very dirty, as we saw in the debate on Tuesday night (Sept. 29th),” Bower said. “These candidates were going at each other’s throats and trying to gain an advantage over one another and on the merits of the policy. So I think that is something that is illuming over all of this right now and the aftermath is a grey area.”

   Republicans and Democrats aren’t the only ones who can run for office. Member of Young Republicans and senior Nick Porter kept an open mind to voting third party instead. 

Photo by Collin Parker

   “I think we will see a lot more people voting third party,” Porter said. “The biggest thing people are going to realize is that the two-party system is flawed because both parties picked bad candidates. More people will vote the third party and I’m considering it.”

   Despite what Porter said, U.S. News Today explains there won’t be a strong third party candidate and won’t be an important factor in the election. 


Navigating Information

   Generation Z (1996-2010) grew up in the age of information. They have an overwhelming amount of news in their face 24/7. According to Pew Research Center, 45% of teens say they are online almost constantly, and Common Sense Media found that 54% of teens find their news from social media and 50% get theirs from YouTube. It is hard to learn to navigate news and general information and there are plenty of questions to ask, it’s difficult to know what websites and news sources are credible and a lot of students don’t take the time to learn how to spot a credible source.

   There are many articles, news organizations, and media websites to gather information, such as the Washington Post, CNN, ABC News, Fox News and many others. Junior Isabela Sullivan from Young Democrats shares her opinion on how she stays politically educated. 

   “I enjoy digital media, I don’t like to watch cable news television because their goal is to portray news as sort of a sport rather than things that impact people’s lives,” Sullivan said. “So I enjoy reading the Washington Post, New York Times and those types of media sources. Even those with their own leanings.”

   Other students find alternative ways of finding information. James has a different take.

   “I like to go to government websites, FBI statistics and anything with ‘.gov’ in it is good. I go to blog posts and organizations that have information,” James said. “The more heads that are working together usually the more factual the information tends to be.

   Learning how to spot a credible source is a vital life skill, and many teens are not sure how to do this. The first thing you should look at when reading an article for the first time is the website itself, look at their mission statement and other stories to check for a possible bias. Then check the author and date it was written, are they an expert in the subject matter or do they have experience in the field? Biases are very important to spot in news, not only check the article or news clips bias but check that your own personal bias isn’t affecting your conclusion. Check the linked sources the author might have used to see if those are also credible. Don’t let headlines fool you always read past the headline to hear the full story.