Have you Voted?

Seniors are getting ready for their first election

Zikra Hashmi

It’s time. It’s November, meaning the news is filled with debates and the candidates clamoring amongst each other the rest of us watch.

However, for some students, they won’t just be watching this year. A number of seniors are able to vote for the first time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will.

“I find it interesting that many millennials aren’t voting in this election, and how my generation is supposed to have the biggest turn out for a candidate,” said senior Yael Greene, who has chosen to vote.

This year is supposed to be a lot more eventful than past ones, as senior Meredith Moon puts it, “We have a literal celebrity running for office.”

A recent poll by Pew estimates that millennials will dominate this year’s election, with an estimated 126 million Generation X and Millennial adult eligible voters (56% among all voters). As those generations age, turnout rises, this year marking the highest turnout peak amongst millennials yet. Many are looking forward to the upcoming election, as it is their first time they can actually be a part of the voting process and have an impact.

“I feel that as a citizen it is my privilege to vote, so I am excited,” Sarah Mautz said.

However, others, like Moon, aren’t as happy about it, “[I’m] excited, but I wish there were better candidates to pick from for my first election,” Moon said.

The 2016 election cycle has been plagued with controversies surrounding the candidates, with most political scientists believing America is more polarized than ever. A deep partisan divide against the backdrop of mudslinging has served to push candidates to the extremes. According to a 2014 Pew Research survey of 10,000 Americans, over a third of each party viewed supporters of the other party “very unfavorably”, over a 15 percent increase over the last decade. Those in the middle, 42% of voters in Gallup’s most recent analysis (2014), are left to choose between two opposing parties, look at third-party candidates, or don’t vote at all.

“A lot of situations are either over exaggerated or not allowed to stand on their own merits,” argues Abbey Wiley. However, Wiley says she is still “excited and interested to see how it turns out.”

No matter who you’re voting for, this year’s election is sure to be memorable.