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Midterms

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Midterms

Hailey O’Hara, Reporter

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Midterms take place in our democracy every two years, every last four hundred and thirty five members of the US House of Representatives. Because the cycle of senator elections are varied, about one third of the senators are up for election, who serve for six years. Every two years, citizens around the country are granted most patriotic right in our history: the opportunity to vote, the opportunity to have their voices heard. The honor and civic duty bestowed upon American Citizens is extremely important, especially in the eyes the newest, youngest generation of voters, a new generation practically starving for representation, a new generation about to enter the ring with a violent gusto.

Students are taking the lead in this new generation, taking a stand for injustices, stating their opinion. Take Miss Petra McDonnell-Ingoglia, first time voter responsible for the Voter Registration Drive, a quest to sign as many students up for voting as possible. Petra states that “a lot of kids are involved in political matters around here since we are in the shadow of the capital and there is a lot to lose for our generation”. This seems to be universal theme, the idea that this newest generation has a lot riding on these elections.  Mrs. Valerie Davis, AP US History teacher at Olympia High School, even states that “I have never seen voting more important than it is at this particular moment in time”. Mr. Michael Schaefer, AP Government teacher at Olympia High School and last year’s organizer for the Voter Registration Ballot Competition (a competition to see which high school can register the most voters) also says he is “encouraged and hopeful students will follow through and participate” in voting. Mr. Schaefer also states that “generally, I have never seen students more thirsty to understand our system”, he jokingly continues by saying “in a way, this chaos is making it easier for me to teach”. And chaos it does appear to be. Never has politics leaked so heavily into everyday life. Students are constantly surrounded by it, via social media, youtube, and even pop culture. With such access, it is hard not to be involved.

The push for voting is not just local, but universal: from Michael Obama’s campaign titled When We All Vote, to the March For Our Lives crew’s My First Time (a push dedicated to encourage first time voters), the trend is simple: use your voice. Mrs.Davis describes voting as “an obligation of citizenship”, yet, just registering to vote is not enough, one must be educated on their potential candidates. Mrs. Davis agrees, saying “studying US History and Government is preparing oneself to be a conscientious citizen, and you are forming your ideas about what you think is best for this country”. Mr. Schaefer, when asked to give advice for first time voters, says “get informed, do the work. Democracy takes effort”. Even Miss Petra agrees, “make sure to research the candidates and initiatives that will be on the ballot. Don’t vote for someone or something because your parents or your friends are”.

Education is also extremely important, because it allows citizens to vote at any election, not just the publicized ones. When asked why citizens should vote at every election, Petra says “because every election matters, because that’s when we elect our representatives, senators, city council, ect. They are the ones who make the laws. They are just as important, if not more important, than the president”. Mr. Schaefer urges students to “not let others make opinions for you”, which will happen, if one will not let their voice be heard in every election.

In a nation perpetually split, in a nation on a tipping point, in a nation currently making history, common ground can still be found. Despite beliefs, gender, and race, every last new voter is encouraged to register, so their voices will be heard. Yes, Generation Z is coming, and they are coming out swinging

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