Is it important to vote?

The importance of voting is preached all throughout high school, but less than half of eligible 18-29 year olds actually voted in the last presidential election according to the US census bureau.

Is it really important for teens to vote? Government teacher Jeremy Stevens says yes. “You are setting the course for the nation, literally,” he said. 

Senior Kaylyn Cassasa agrees. “The views of teens and young adults are a lot different than most older people, and the best way for them to influence their society is voting,” she said. 

Cassasa is confident about her knowledge of candidates and issues. “I talk to my parents a lot about politics and I read a lot about candidates online,” Cassasa said.

 

I think every voice is important and a lot of time teens see things in a new way that adults do not. senior Hannah Fitzpatrick

 

Some students are less sure about contributing to major elections. “Who I vote for will probably depend on how I feel at the time,” senior Caleb Knox said.

Teens who turn 18 by the general election day (November 3rd) can vote in the primary elections this spring, as long as they are aligned with a party, but many don’t know this. “I’m not even registered to vote,” Senior Makenna Koehn said. 

County Clerk Rebecca Rossel says the process to register isn’t hard. The application can be mailed in or filled out in person at the courthouse. The last day to register in order to be able to vote in the primary elections this spring is May 1.

Presidential primaries or caucuses are held in every state as a part of the nominating process for U.S. presidential elections. Because Nebraska is a closed primary state, voters must be aligned with a party in order to vote. After the primary and caucus season (January-June), parties finalize their nominations for president and vice president at National Conventions.     

In the past, young people have been less likely to head to the polls. “Government, for a lot of people, it’s just that they can’t see the relevance when they’re 18,” Stevens said. 

But  many NPHS students agree, it’s important for teens to be involved in the voting process. “It’s our future. We should be educated and smart about it,” Knox said.