Youth population at polls increases

Midterm elections featured a younger turnout


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Recent elections have had a rise in youth voting. The 2018 midterm election saw 31% of young, eligible voters at the polls.

Sofia Kozlova, Reporter

The midterm election on Nov. 8 gathered 30% of voters aged 18-29 — making this the second highest youth turnout in the last 3 decades for a midterm — the highest in 2018.

“I worked the polls in a previous election and I really enjoyed being a part of such a valuable civic duty,” said sophomore Catherine Fox. “Although I am not at a voting age yet, I still want to get involved in the ways I can,”

Tuesday’s midterm election selected 435 seats for the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 seats for the U.S. Senate, which determines the political party that will hold the majority in congress.

“Currently, our political climate is really activated, which has also put younger generations at the forefront of activism and change,” said physics teacher Matt Woodard. “The past elections show more people being represented in politics which is pretty amazing,”

The ballots are still being counted and some elections will have to have a runoff because neither person received 50% of the vote, like the Georgia senate race between Raphael Warnok and Herschel Walker, according to The Associated Press.

“Since I am at the age where I am about to vote, I try to be engaged and I think it’s super important to vote,” said senior Audra Dawkins. “As United States citizens, it is our responsibility to vote in order to make changes that benefit all people,”

Youth voters have the ability to sway elections, according to Woodard. In recent years, more young voters have been voting, which is crucial to all elections.

“The youth have started to take matters into their own hands and are starting to build their own future,” Woodard said. “It’s really great seeing young people interested in what’s happening in our world and trying to do things to fix it,”

Students are able to do poll work when they turn 16 and this can help people understand the process behind casting a ballot. Signing up to be a poll worker is extremely easy and is a way to get younger generations interested in voting, according to Fox.

“I think a lot goes into voting and the people who get elected represent our country and make decisions that affect us,” Fox said. “Everybody should exercise their right to vote in order to live in a world they would want to live in.”