There’s nothing with more clout than an “I Voted” sticker.
When I was a child, I would always idolize those white ovals that my parents would get on election days, and I still feel excited to have one today. Except now, as I turned eligible to vote, the meaning behind it became clearer.
Voting is important in many ways, and it’s one of the biggest things we can do to incite the change that we as citizens want to see. Yet an astonishingly low number of people actually go to the polls. In the 2016 general election, less than half of the country’s population voted. So why is it that people do or don’t vote?
To answer that question, I turned to the few members of the senior class that were eligible to vote in the most recent primaries.
The answers were as you might expect, and roughly equal if you exclude myself. I first asked Aaron Wolf, who is a Boy Scout and the Student Body President of the Ojai Valley School. He said that he did vote, but it wasn’t as easy as he’d thought it would be.
“I had to re-register at the polling place, which was kind of frustrating,” he said, mentioning that he had pre-registered to vote at Boys State, a program he attended this past summer.
Several first-time voters had different reasons for why they chose to vote.
“I voted because I wanted to become comfortable by the time the general election comes along,” Aaron said. Having worked together at the polls at the 2018 midterms, Aaron and I are familiar with what goes on behind the desks of the voting precincts. But actually voting brings its own pitfalls and potential errors that you wouldn’t see unless you did it yourself. Corbin Muller, though, is not worried about any of that, as he didn’t vote at all.
“[I didn’t vote] because I didn’t feel like it. I’m just lazy,” he responded. But the Senior does not have a general aversion to voting, as his response might imply. “I’m gonna vote in the general election,” he said.
Although every election is important, even voting in the general is a good way to participate as a citizen.
Thomas Christopher, a piano prodigy and history buff, was slightly more motivated. “I want people I like to become president,” said Thomas after enthusiastically indicating that he did in fact vote.
Turning 18 is exciting for many, and being able to vote is a big part of that. My generation is very politically motivated, and change is something that everyone is fighting for, whether that be about climate change, our government, school, or the thousand other issues that we find relevant in our life. But not voting is okay too. It’s an individual’s right to choose to exercise that privilege.
I have to say though, having an “I Voted” sticker is way cooler than not having one.Share