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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The importance of voting in high school

Addison Gload
Student filling out sample of an official election ballot.

As a democracy, voting is the basis of the United States government. With the upcoming presidential election next November, many Class of 2024 and 2025 students will be able to cast their votes for the first time next fall. 

Elections are held every two years on the first Tuesday of November. Midterm elections are held every four years in the middle of each presidential term. Presidential elections are also held every four years to elect or reelect the president of the U.S. 

On July 1, 1971, the voting age was lowered to age 18. Over the next 50 years, young generations did not take full advantage of their opportunity to participate in this civic duty as the young voter turnout was a steady 20% when it came to midterms. However, after a historic 2022 midterm election, the youth turnout grew to 27% (NPR), the second highest in history for a midterm election. 

Although most high schoolers don’t believe their vote matters, they have the opportunity to change the fate of our next election. With the more teenagers voting, there is a larger chance of change within congress. 

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If you are sick of seeing the same people year after year running capitol hill, the only way to make a difference is by voting out members of congress you don’t agree with. 

“I think most [high schoolers] are intelligent,” Jenna Hanssen, AP US History teacher, said. “I find that younger voters sometimes are more idealists, they have more vision for what they want, so they should go out and vote and get involved.” 

The prime age for creativity and passion in our government is 18 years old. Some students feel their vote does not matter while others are looking forward to Nov. 5. 

“Your votes can change the world,” Reese Mitchell, junior who will be able to vote in the next election, said. “If everyone believed that their vote didn’t matter, then no one would vote and then we’d be in this cycle.” 

The chance to change something in your government is an extraordinary opportunity that many countries don’t have the right to have. America is lucky to even offer voting at age 18. Countries under communism and or a dictatorship are not awarded similar freedoms.  

“Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life. Many people in countries around the world do not have the same freedom, nor did many Americans in centuries past. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights,” National Geographic said. 

Although voting is the most important civic duty in our country, going into the ballot boxes without knowing what each candidate stands for, is not how we get things done. Research your politicians and find the policies that you want to support, rather than following popularity or your family. 

“I [would] hate people just to vote without being informed,” Hanssen said. “You shouldn’t just go out and vote without doing your research or you should know what you’re voting for.” 

If you don’t want to vote, vote for somebody who can’t. Somebody under 18, somebody who is not a U.S. citizen, somebody who is incarcerated and has lost their right to vote. Nothing changes unless our community puts in their opinion. Without voting, America would have no sense of diversity within our country and the bills passed would only be supported by a small margin. 

“I’ve grown up in a household that has taught me since birth that my voice matters. My parents have always preached the necessity of walking into the voting booth each time from the day I turn 18 to when I’m gone,” Elizabeth Cappiello, a senior who will be voting in the next election, said. “I’ve always had a political mind and been interested in politics. I hope more kids, especially seniors taking government classes this year, realize the pose they hold as American citizens. They have the chance to change their country the day they turn 18.”

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