Nov. 6 provided many teens with the opportunity to be a part of an extreme leap of action in the Midterm Election now being the age of 18. Specifically, Central York High School’s graduating class of 2019 had several students that now were eligible to vote.
Senior Ian Dundas had a first hand experience of what this new chance was like.
“I decided to register because I know it is my civic duty to vote. I also decided to register because like many other Americans, there are a number of different issues that concern me, and I want to see change in our government,” Dundas said.
Voting is one way that people showcase their opinions and stand up for what they believe is right. Having this new freedom of expression, citizens had to value what they thought was important.
Dundas said, “I thought it was important for me to vote in this election because this midterm election is very significant. There could be some very big changes depending on who gets in office, so it was important to make my opinions heard.”
Even though not all were old enough to register for this election in specific, that didn’t waver the value of this event.
Senior Dan Risser and interned for the congresinal candidate George Scott and involved himself in every way that he could since he didn’t make age requirement just yet.
“I feel super empowered doing all of this work. It’s super rewarding being able to listen to people's concerns and try to convince them to vote for your candidate,” Risser said.
Having the knowledge of what’s going on in politics is just as important.
“Politics affect all of us in every facet of our life. We have to stay informed to keep people of power in check and ensure they are working in our best interest,” Risser said.
Young voters had a huge impact on the election, with the rate going up significantly from that of the 2010 and 2014 Midterm elections. The 2018 election in specific seemed to be essential for many voters to be a part of. It was estimated that around 114 million ballots were cast this year, which exceeds the 83 million votes in 2014 and 91 million votes in 2010.
Risser said, “Young people have come out of the woodwork more than ever before in this election. Young people have the same rights as everybody else does, and they should be able to have their views represented.”
Future 2020 graduate of Temple University and Central Alumni Emma Lomicky had her first chance to vote in the 2018 presidential election, which she was old enough to vote in by just 10 days.
“That is when I first learned about politics, and I was entirely consumed by the fact that the people of our country get to decide what happens collectively. I knew that I was going to have to vote in that election, so I made sure to research how to register eight years before I had to,” Lomicky said.
This new freedom intrigued her to get as much knowledge as she could on all things politics.
“The months leading up to it were fun for me to do research on all the candidates running for each position and asking my friends and family what they thought,” Lomicky said. “Lots of people are not always eager to share their political views, but I find it important to do so.”
Having this experience didn’t just stop at that election for Lomicky.
“Every election is an important one to vote in. I would like to have my thoughts represented in every way, not just every four years in a presidential election,” she said. “Local representatives often have a much larger impact on your day to day life than the president does.”
As for teens voting, Lomicky along with Dundas and Risser all agree it’s crucial for youth to be heard.
“Young people today are much more aware of the fact that they have a voice than ever before,” Lomicky said. “With the rise of social media everyone is able to have their voice heard, but there is a difference between being heard and being listened to. You can say anything you want, but if you do not vote, nobody will do anything. Nobody will listen if you do not vote.”
“We have a voice and we have issues that are important to us. The future of the country is in our hands and so it is up to us to make our opinions and issues known through voting,” Dundas said.