My First Election

Why students are voting in the 2020 presidential election


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presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump

After long, hard fights and the passage of the 15th Amendment, the 19th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act, most American adults have the right to vote. Unfortunately, some eligible Americans choose not to vote. Members of Generation Z might just change that.

For some, voting means simply checking a box next to a name. For others, voting holds much more value. Value that had to be fought for and was attempted by many to be taken away.

“A lot of my ancestors have fought for the right to vote,” senior Ryan Staples said. “I’d feel like I would be doing them a disjustice if I didn’t decide to vote. I care about what’s going on around me in the world.”

With history in mind, Staples additionally sees modern-day injustice and uses his vote to fix that.

“I would say that I am politically active,” Staples said. “My main issue is criminal justice reform. I think that in the age of mass incarceration that we deal with is detrimental and definitely targets Black and Brown communities with police brutality. Black Americans are overrepresented in the prison system.”

Overall, voting is a right and is viewed as necessary for a functioning democracy.

“Some people choose not to vote because they don’t think it will count because they are just one person,” senior Ava Overman said. “If everybody felt like that, then nobody would vote. I think you can’t make a difference as long as everybody has that mentality. By voting, you can really make a change for the better.”