Today is election day, and that means that millions of Americans will be flocking to the polls to cast their ballot in the 2018 midterm election. However, many high schoolers, though they may have feelings regarding who should be in the elected offices over them, are unable to vote. People in high school, are put in a difficult position when it comes to politics. So many of them are educated on the current topics but unable to make their views a reality since they are under the legal voting age. At Chelsea High School, only 33 students are eligible to vote, leaving 814 students without a way to put a direct impact on the election.
Many students in the senior class are just a couple months away from being 18. When talking to the seniors in Laura Lutz’s Government class, almost every one of them had strong feelings on certain issues, ranging from who will be Michigan’s next governor, to whether or not Proposal 1, the amendment regarding the legalization of marijuana, should be passed. Emily Cousino shares many of her feelings about voting with the other seniors in her classes. “I have always been interested in voting,” she said. “I wish, now that I am old enough to understand the meaning of voting, that I could vote and not have to wait another year. I feel knowledgeable on the topics and I feel my own opinion/vote is valid despite being ‘too young’ to vote.”
Other students feel similarly, and also have some opinions on how teachers bring up the election to their classes. Many they wish that teachers would do raise awareness for what the implications of the election are. Schools are the place where students are supposed to be socialized into the outside world, which includes making educated political decisions. It’s also a place where students can develop their feelings on politics, and that is something that most students want, while there are some teachers that are wary about bringing their beliefs into the classroom and possibly causing students to disrespect them because they disagree on certain issues.
Schools are places where habits are established and it is important that before students leave to be on their own, at college or just later on in life, that schools establish habits of knowing who the candidates are for elections, and what news stories are that are going on around them. Back in Ms. Lutz’s class, 3 of the students that were interviewed were going to be 18 within one month, and one within 1 week. Of the students interviewed, they were the ones that had the most knowledge about the election, but unfortunately for them they were unable to make their voices heard.
The tone throughout the school from people from every grade, especially seniors, is that they wish that they were able to make their voice heard. Soon enough they will be able to vote, but until then they can always volunteer with campaigns and do work to make sure that people that share the same views “Rock the Vote!”