Vote, You Can Make A Difference

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Vote, You Can Make A Difference

Natalie Martinez, Editorial Staff

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The U.S. Midterm Elections don’t usually get enough attention within the majority of the American public, but this year there seems to be a shift in our society, especially within America’s youth.

In a recent poll from Harvard’s School of Government, 40% of 18 to 29 year olds reported they are going to vote on November 6th,  a major change from the 14% of youth who voted in the 2014 election.

Many may ask themselves: what is causing the youth of America to mobilize in such an active way? This could be due to family, friends, celebrities, news, social media, or the politicians.

When asking students at South who encouraged them to vote, there’s a variety of answers.

Senior Isabelle Santos says, “People seem to be pushing it this year… Maybe it’s because a lot of people in our grade are finally old enough to vote.”

Fellow senior Bridget Maston says, “Ms. Rediehs got me really excited about civic participation and the way I could play a role in Democracy.”

In reality this race could be a change to American politics since midterms have always been essential to the course of presidential terms. In 1994 Democrats lost the House to Republicans while Bill Clinton was in office. Later on, in 2006 the house flipped back to be controlled by Democrats when Bush was in office. Recently under the Obama Administration, the house flipped again to be dominated by the  Republicans in 2010. If the same party dominated the Legislative and Executive Branch, our recent history would have turned out differently.

Midterms are time when Americans can voice their opinions and directly make a change to their government. These midterms are even catching attention from the International Community, with an administration that has been controversial around the globe, it is important for the world community to know how we feel about the way our current government is run.

In our district, there’s a close call on who will take the open seat in the House. According to a poll by the New York Times, 45% of people report they’ll vote for the incumbent, Peter Roskam (Rep) while 44% support newcomer, Sean Casten (Dem). This is an extremely close race that could make history. If Casten wins, he’d be the first Democrat to represent the 6th Congressional District of Illinois in 46 years and Roskam would serve for 2 more years after being in his position for 7 years.

Vote, because there is so much at stake. You can voice your opinions on subjects that matter like gun reform, environmental policy, health care, immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Civil Rights, infrastructure policy, and so much more. Every single chair of the 435 seats in the House and a third of the Senate can change. But don’t just think of changing the federal government, but the state government as well. This election, Illinois will choose a new governor who can change policies on criminal justice, college cost, and redraw Congressional lines. The youth can change the future of our country and state regardless of who and what party we vote for. Youth often fall into group think and feel pressured to vote a certain way but disagreeing with your friends and peers shouldn’t stop anyone from voting.

Senior Henry Sottrell says, “Discourse with other students has helped me solidify and develop my political beliefs over time. I’m proud that I have friends across the political spectrum, because it’s influenced… the kind of policy I’d like to see implemented to benefit the future of America.”