First-time voters hit the polls

    While political pundits are calling next week’s midterm election the most important in history, Tuesday will have a different significance to many seniors who will be casting their ballots for the first time.

    Tuesday’s midterm election will select 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 seats in the Senate and will determine which political party will have the majority in each house of Congress.

    “Candidates represent the public, and I want to do my part to try to elect a person who reflects my values and moral code,” senior Kate Ward, who plans to vote for the first time on Election Day, said. “If I were to not vote, I would be throwing away my chance of getting the person who reflects what I think is important into a position of power.”

    Only 53 percent of eligible San Francisco voters cast ballots in the June 5 primary election for positions such as governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.

    “For a democracy to work, everybody who can needs to participate, and first-time voters are an absolutely essential part of that,” history teacher Michael Stafford said. “This is the first time that many youth have an opportunity to exercise that particular democratic muscle, and they need to get out and do it.”

    According to senior Emma Hubbard, voting amplifies a person’s voice and makes a difference in the future. She says that everyone, including eligible students, should participate and vote.

    “Many of the issues that are on the ballot will be affecting our generation much more than older generations,” Hubbard said. “If we have the opportunity to have our voices heard, we all need to take full advantage of that.”

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