Northwest promotes positive civic engagement in students eligible to vote

Last Thursday, students who would be 18 years of age by the time the general election rolls around were given the opportunity to vote through the school. This allowed students a chance to become better informed through the unbiased site GCS provided with an “about” section on all candidates, as well as allowed the students a chance to go vote if they otherwise had no time to do so. If a student had work or extracurriculars, for instance, until polling time ended, they would not have had the chance to cast their vote if not for this new idea by GCS. While it was overall a great success and fought against the United States’ worst enemy to democracy (lack of voter turnout), not all were happy about the idea. Voices could be heard around the school complaining that this action by GCS was promoting the “progressive agenda” by forcing turnout from younger voters, who are generally more left. This point, though, is completely unfounded and too easy to disprove. 

I think they (GCS) promoted voting in a very fair way,”

— Skye Handley

“They never said, ‘You have to vote for this person/party,’” Junior Skye Handley said. 

GCS promoting voting among students is simply encouraging political activity, something which every up and coming adult should be engaged in. Those who critiqued the idea suggesting it was promoting the liberal agenda are simply uninformed, because while they were promoting voter turnout, GCS never influenced the students’ decision. Half a day in the students’ English classes was dedicated to providing them a time to research candidates on their own. An unbiased website was available as a reference, but students were ultimately allowed to research on their own before the vote, therefore able to make their own informed decisions. Parents with students who have more left views than them may be unhappy, but would one really not allow their eligible child to vote simply because they wouldn’t vote for the same party? This is simply absurd and every voter is allowed to make his/her decisions about who they want to vote for and why.

“I think voting is important because not many parents really show you how to do it, but they’ll get onto you to do it (vote),” Handley said. 

Parents have a heavy influence on their children’s political perspective, any reputable study will tell you that. Blaming the school system for “indoctrinating” children to lean more Democrat is absurd, because the parents have the biggest part to play. Parents really need to take a step back and reevaluate their positions, because if they really are so unhappy with the school promoting voting and allowing their child a chance to be a politically active citizen, then perhaps they should have spent more time with the child teaching them about voting. Ultimately, the voting idea was a great opportunity for students to get out there and vote, and was a great learning experience for next year.

“I do think that the voting process could have been more informative, especially with the bussing situation, but overall considering it was new I think it was well laid out and pretty easy for everyone to follow,” Handley said.