The Road to Adulthood

Lev+Schuster%2812%29+and+Savanna+Wolverton%2812%29+holding+a+sample+ballet+for+the+past+local+elections+that+occurred+on+November+5th.

Lev Schuster(12) and Savanna Wolverton(12) holding a sample ballet for the past local elections that occurred on November 5th.

Kalista Martin, Reporter

On November 5th, voting for local elections took place and by the 26th of November each county certified the votes that were collected. On this ballot there are measures, legislative initiatives, and offices such as mayor or sheriff. For many senior students, this was their first opportunity to vote in an election.

People are able to vote by mail or online to give everyone a chance to vote. The ballot this year had about 30 parts that needed to be voted on, but the only office that was really important for Whatcom County was the new mayor and sheriff election. The first vote for students can be very nerve-racking for some or exciting for others. One senior, Savanna Wolverton said, “It was exciting to vote because I was like wow I’m actually making a difference and even if who I voted for didn’t win I still had the feeling like maybe I could still have influenced certain decisions.” Every student interviewed spoke of how exciting the voting experience was and that they had no nerves going into the vote. Most of the students spoke of how inspiring the vote could be as well as giving the students confidence. As one student, Lev Schuster (12) said, “One of my favorite parts of voting wasn’t just the chance to have my voice be heard, but instead it was being able to have a constructive discussion about who we want to be leading us in the future.”

First time voters often ind information online, through parents, or via discussions with peers. As Schuster described, the greatest feeling was discussing such an important topic with peers with different views and backgrounds. The familial preferences of the students can hold back their abilities to vote in an unbiased way. As many students are brought up in a family with a certain view of the world, and follow one party without researching or understanding the other side. Many of the students who voted, voted with their family members or just voted without knowing what the initiative or person stands for. It was refreshing to hear Schuster speak of his choice to not vote with a certain party, but rather to just vote for what felt right. “It was a wonderful experience to be able to break away from my party because I was able to understand both sides of the parties beliefs and my vote was based on how it related to my overall beliefs instead of sticking with my party or parents,” said Schuster.

It was important for all these students to vote as the initiatives will affect everyone  in our community and county. To help those seniors who will be voting in the next presidential election, Wolverton said, “You should vote even if it’s not a huge vote so you can always have a voice, so I would say to vote no matter what because every vote counts.” This local election gave the students at Sehome confidence to vote in more significant future elections, and confidence in themselves. Schuster left another sentiment for future voters to come, “Don’t just vote for yourself, vote for others so we should all encourage others to register to vote and to understand that you need to do your research instead of relying on your party lines or what your parents do because that can be an easy pattern to fall into.”