How Underage Students are Influencing the 2020 Election

Annabelle Deasy, Staff Writer

In the 2016 election, only 55.5% of eligible voters cast their vote, but this year Gen Z has begun pushing the community to use their civic power and increase that percentage. As the 2020 election quickly approaches, the streets fill with campaign signs and social media is buzzing with election information, but it’s from more than just eligible voters. The Seattle Prep community has been very involved in this highly anticipated election as younger students vocalize their beliefs on their platforms.

Ava Simmons 22’ said, “I use my social media platforms to try to educate potential voters. I am also starting to discuss issues weekly and share information about human rights that are frequently discussed during presidential debates.”

It is extremely important to learn about history in school because these events can help us apply further understanding to current events. Many history classes at Prep take the time to discuss current events and how the world is handling situations. There are also many ways students educate themselves outside the classroom. Senior Eva Guarda Vazquez said, “Although I am not of voting age yet, I like to be involved in the election as much as I can. I like to keep up with the news, looking at many different sources, primarily unbiased sources, as well as left leaning ones. I think social media is a great way to educate yourself on politics and specifically the election.”

Voting has been a civic responsibility in the United States government since the beginning of our democracy. American citizens are given a right to vote for the candidate they find most appropriate and who will protect their civil rights. This year has been very chaotic -especially with this election. As the United States presidential nominees have very different political agendas, the country is still divided with extremely different views and opinions. Sophomore Kate Matter said, “We live in a country that gives us the right to vote when we turn 18 and voting dictates how our country is run, so why would you not want a part in that? I think it’s a privilege to be able to vote for your beliefs.”

Something that is often difficult during an election is agreeing with everyone’s point of view and beliefs. Senior Lauren Royce addressed this and said, “My grandparents are extremely conservative while I am very liberal, so we do not agree on most political topics. I have found that our conversations always go better if both sides listen and then respond. We do not get emotional about what we are talking about but become more informed about the other side’s opinions along with sharing our own.”

A large part of this election for students unable to vote is to learn from one another and prepare for the time they can vote. Many students agreed it is important to vote when given the opportunity and Seattle Prep should encourage the community to cast their ballot.