Participating in Democracy

First time voters get ready to hit the polls on Nov. 6

Madison Slevin, News Editor

The 2018 November midterm is quickly approaching. As eligible teens register to vote for the first time, election pages are hard at working learning their jobs for the day.
The midterm elections on Nov. 6 will allow the 18 in ‘18 voters their first chance to actively voice their opinion.
Registering to vote has never been easier. Due to the fast paced social media world, voters can now register any time and from anywhere.
Senior Michael Lemar is one of a few who will be 18 before election day and has already registered to vote.
“I found a link on Twitter and just went through the process,” Lemar said. “It was a lot less time consuming than I expected.”
“The process was much easier and more simple than I expected,” senior Catherine Henkel said. “It’s completely online and took less than ten minutes. The registration process makes it very accessible for anyone.”
For the first time, young Americans have the opportunity to act on their opinion. Through casting a vote, citizens are able to contribute to the greater democratic process.
“It is important to let your voice be heard no matter the stakes of the election,” Lemar said. “Active participation in our democracy is what makes it work!”
“To me, voting is super important, and it is important to register to vote now that I am able to do so,” senior Amanda Frankhouser said. “It is a big part of my life and I finally have a say on who I want to run the government. I would highly recommend everyone eligible to vote to do so because voting allows you to put your opinions into action.”
It is not only students who are expressing the importance of voting.
“Voting is very important!” said SCA sponsor Bo Pittman. “Young people should vote because right now their parents and grandparents are making the decisions about how this country progresses, and they won’t be the ones dealing with the long term consequences of those decisions.”
For those students between the ages of 16 and 18 who aren’t eligible to vote but want to be part of the process, there’s the Election Page Program.
The Election Page Program is run by Ben McCartney, retired FHS government teacher.
“The purpose of the program is to get students involved in the electoral process and get them to realize that voting is an important right and responsibility and that voters make a difference in government,” McCartney said. “As you may know, our 18-22 year olds do not vote in significant numbers. This may be due to apathy, a feeling that their vote will not change anything, etc..”
McCartney hopes that by getting involved in the Electoral Page Program, this age group may be more inspired to vote.
Junior Jada Dudley will work as an Electoral Page this year. “I signed up because I thought it sounded like an awesome opportunity, a cool experience, and just a good way to help out the community,” Dudley said. “I think it’s important we have young people involved in events like this to not only get a taste of what it’s like to vote, but also to help the election process go smoother.”
Rachel Schwind, junior, also signed up for the program.
“I thought it might be interesting to see some of the behind-the-scenes of election day,” Schwind said. “I think it’s important that young people, like myself, become involved in the election process, even if we can’t vote yet. I’m looking forward to helping out and hopefully learning some new things!”
In order to be an Electoral Page, a student must be under 18 years of age but at least 16 years of age by Election day. All Pages work under the supervision of the Chief Officer and must have parental consent to work at the polls. Page duties include: assist with opening the polls on Election day, distribute voting guide pamphlets, open doors for the elderly and disabled, and other duties as assigned by the Chief.
Pages may observe and assist in the electoral process, but may not handle any voting machines, enter a voting booth or touch any ballots.
Eighty one Page applicants from all three high schools will be placed in 20 precincts throughout the county on Nov. 6.