Make Voters Educated Again


Bella Colby

Some eligible SJHHS students register to vote during tutorial on October 2. Keegan Bengelsdorf (10), smiles while filling out his voter pre-registration form

The Express Editorial Board

With the midterm elections on November 6 quickly approaching, a trend has broken out across the country among politically active teens.

This new trend has the power to bring politicians in and out of office. It can cause them to change and create laws, bills, and amendments. It gets adults talking. At times, it even attracts the attention of the whole nation. But before you take a guess, no, this trend is not marching around holding picket signs.

High schoolers all across the nation are registering their peers to vote. While this is a catalyst to creating a generation of world changers, it could be pointless if these voters are uneducated in the topics that they are voting on.

Being an informed voter means being knowledgeable about current issues in the government, and keeping up to date on what politicians stand for. This takes time and effort, but a democracy does not work unless the people do.

Thousands of American teenagers have signed their names and checked off the boxes to become eligible voters, however this is as far as they will go in political participation. They might think that it doesn’t affect them right now, or that it merely doesn’t matter, but this is far from the truth. We will live with the decisions we make now for the rest of our lives; and thousands are choosing ignorance.

Give a damn, get educated, and go vote.”

— John Baker

An AP Government class at SJHHS conducted a poll the week of the hearing of Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh. The poll asked students if they support his confirmation, do not support his confirmation or, do not know about this topic. 40% of the students were not aware of the hearing at all.

These results are equally shocking as they are shameful. It is clear that in politics, ignorance is not bliss, rather it is blatant stupidity.

AP Government/Economics teacher, John Baker, suggests that students should “give a damn, get educated, and go vote.” He continues to say that students should find their own political ideology, then support the groups they feel politically aligned to.

By reading newspapers, listening to politicians, and keeping aware of what major corporations have funded politicians’ campaigns, students will have a greater insight on the puppet masters of politics, and which ones they want to vote for.

It is sad that in this day and age, a shallow “meme culture” has developed around politics. “Memes shouldn’t drive democracy. Rational policy decisions should,” says Baker.

Participation in democracy is a right and a privilege granted to each eligible US citizen. Political awareness and action are the responsibilities that must be accepted to honor these rights.

Next time you are offered a free piece of pizza in exchange for your name on a ballot, consider the weight of the responsibility you are accepting. Though we have a long way to go, there is great faith that our generation will be the one to change the world. Step one: make voters educated again.