This year high school seniors are looking forward to voting for more than just prom king and queen. As of January 1, 17-year-olds are allowed to vote in the upcoming primary election.
“It’s the first time you can actually have a say in politics here and it is kind of a tight race especially with the Republican side. I have always been really interested in politics so its exciting to finally have a say,” said Metea Valley High School Senior Umayai Swarnam.
Government teacher, Susan Fuhrer, is doing all she can to inspire young voters and get them to head to the polls on March 18.
“We did do a voter registration drive, we did one in the Fall and then one in the Spring. In the Spring we had 125 students register to vote which is great and then we had close to about 70 or 80 in the fall,” said Fuhrer.
Fuhrer also stresses the importance of informed voting so when those seniors head to the polls, they can choose a candidate to benefit them.
“ Many of them have a job, and want to know where their tax money is actually going, who is making a lot of these policy decisions when they think about their retirement or their pensions or even possibly social security. I mean there are so many things that government does that affects student lives, that its important for them to have a voice and be involved,” said Fuhrer.
Many students are already doing their part to get involved and be informed, from volunteering for campaigns to even sitting in on debates.
“I educate myself by going to campaigns, I got to hear the runners up debate and talk about the issues. I am making sure I know who’s who and not just go for the candidate that looks the best because that annoys me when people don’t actually know what they are talking about,” said MVHS Senior, Tammy Zapata.
Along with making an educated decision on the candidates, they understand the importance of getting their voice heard in this year’s election.
“Sometimes young people don’t participate in politics and I think that’s kind of sad because you have the opportunity to make an impact on our government and what goes on in our system and so I think its important for everyone to be involved,” said MVHS Senior Alyssa Gibbas.
17–year-olds will only get the opportunity to vote in the primary if they turn 18 by the election in November.
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