Opinion | WHS first-time voters concerned about future

Grace Spellman | @whscharger

With the first election coming up for eligible WHS voters, we set out to find what issues teen voters considered important for political candidates to address. 

While some of the voters had little to say, others were passionate about several topics.

Several students expressed concerns for what candidates would do for our future. As people with most of our lives still ahead of us, we naturally have concerns about how policies will shape the country for the next 10, 50 or 100 years. We can’t afford to simply think about the present.

Many of us already work and pay taxes, but we will soon be entering the workforce full-time and contributing more to our world, so it’s important to consider how political decisions affect our future careers and the economy. To go even farther, how will our children and all generations after us be set up for success? Some of the problems we face now came from shortsighted decisions. WHS voters want to be better than that.

We also worry about each candidate’s legacy? When we look back on the first president we voted for, will we be proud or ashamed?

Another main issue students brought up was COVID guidelines and how they would be changed/handled. This included mask regulations, the opening of businesses and schools, and more potential stimulus. While this is obviously an unprecedented situation, the response from our government doesn’t give us a lot of confidence, and we want to know that someone in charge is looking out for our best interests.

Other issues students cited include preserving civil rights like same-sex marriage, passing sensible 2nd amendment restrictions that control guns while preserving our rights, strengthening the agricultural community and boosting the economy.

It’s important to know what is happening in our country and where a person stands on issues regarding our country. This will help us all choose the candidate that best fits our ideals.

Unfortunately, several voters didn’t really have any idea what was important to them. They hadn’t done any research or watched the news to find out what was going on in the world, and they didn’t really have an answer for how they were choosing to cast their vote. 

I encourage our generation, and every generation, to get involved, do the research, pay attention to news from multiple sources, talk to  parents and form your own ideas, so you can make sure your vote, and your participation in society isn’t a waste.

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