Millennials, It’s Our Time to Vote!
By NEEVA SHAFIIAN
Millennials have grown up with America at war. They recognize the problem of climate change. They lead social movements against racism, homophobia, and sexism. They rely on social media’s easy access. And the presidential candidates recognize this. Hillary Clinton went on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to “dab,” “whip,” and “nae-nae.” Bernie Sanders promises free college, and Donald Trump is constantly tweeting.
Senior Jason R. who keeps up with the campaigning on an almost “day-to-day basis,” believes that it is important for 18-year-olds to vote because “we will be running the country in 10 to 20 years, so it’s best if we start participating and voicing our opinions now and see how the system works.” Jason, who is concerned with pressing issues such as climate change and military expenditures, favors Bernie Sanders. “Despite his radicalism, he is the only candidate who wants to provide immediate reform,” Jason says.
Jericho senior Tyler B. has become more aware of politics due to the current presidential race, which he likes to follow while exercising on the treadmill. He believes “many people keep up with politics due to the pervasiveness of media, however in-depth research by my peers is not as common.” For Tyler, a candidate who gives specific plans and addresses people’s concerns directly would be his top choice, but none of the candidates strikes him as “especially promising.” Since Tyler will be away at college on election day, he says that he will have to apply for an absentee ballot to be able to participate.
Senior Ann P. became involved in politics at a young age, and her political affiliations determine where she gets her news from. “As I went through middle school and high school, I began to learn more about policies rather than just names and faces. With a strong Christian background and traditional views, I soon found that I aligned with the Republican Party.” In terms of this presidential election Ann added, “This election is definitely one to go down in history as the most radical election. The traditional Republican Party has been turned upside down with Trump’s brazen speech and anti-establishment campaign. With Hillary having the potential to becoming the first woman President and Sanders running as a ‘self proclaimed socialist,’ the Democratic side does not disappoint with their extremes.” Foreseeing Trump and Hillary as the probable nominees for the Republican and Democratic parties respectively, she thinks that America will be “voting based on who they think will be less detrimental to our nation, and that is a tragedy.”
Senior Olivia S. agrees and recognizes that many teenagers get their political news from social media sites. However, she believes that teen voters are largely influenced by their parents’ political convictions. Like many other teens voting for the first time, Olivia used the website “I Side With” to see which presidential candidate shares her opinions on many important issues. The website provides a questionnaire about political views on topics ranging from abortion to off-shore oil drilling. After answering the questions, the site tells you which candidate has views most similar to yours.
If you will be at college or away from your home city on election day, you may apply for an absentee ballot through the New York State Board of Elections.
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