Senior Citizens: Seniors to participate in upcoming presidential elections

Senior+Citizens%3A+Seniors+to+participate+in+upcoming+presidential+elections

Sammie Seamon

Along with the September 19th presidential debate came the candidate’s final official banter in front of the American people. Some are both excited and nervous to vote in the first election they are able to participate in, including a few seniors at ARS.

“Before I could vote, it was just me, my family, my school, and there wasn’t really anything else to care about but now, it’s like woah,” senior Shilah Chhadua said. “I could make a difference for another person.”

Voting seniors recognize the responsibility that comes with the right to vote, and understand the weight it has on their futures.

“Especially for these elections, I feel like our vote is more important, because whichever candidate gets chosen, that’s our future. We are going to be in college with this president,” Chhadua said.

The effects post-inauguration may be even more dramatic considering the circumstances of the election; with controversial figures Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald J. Trump. Both candidates have expressed adamant views on issues, such as  immigration reform, college finance, use of the military, gun control, foreign policy and tax reform. At Ann Richards, students through their STARS and History classes are educated on topics like women’s health rights and civil rights, and through this have been able to have a more broad perspective to create their own opinions.

“For me, it’s immigration, because I see it more, not because of my family, but friends here too, they have their own families and they go through that,” senior Selena Hernandez said. She has also worked  an internship at Planned Parenthood during her junior year, and has drawn conclusions on this specific issue based on her experience there.

“People always say ‘Oh, this is where you go to get abortions,’ but no, they also give girls screenings, you know, it’s just women’s health in general.” said Hernandez.

According to Fairvote.org, in the past few elections around 60% of eligible American voters actually head to the polls. Juniors at ARS, aided by their AP US History class, urge others to exercise their right this November.

“Voting lets you be part of the community and involved in what’s going on in the world,” Chhadua said.

The eligible seniors are now better able to put the right to vote into perspective, as they now have the opportunity to have a say in the presidential election.

Hernandez adds, “Others can’t vote because they’re not from here and they’re not citizens, and it puts us in the position where we have the chance, we should just take the chance and go do it.”

Ms. Devi Puckett’s US history class is working on a project where the students create a public service announcement encouraging people to vote. “The scholarship is actually not just to create the video, but also to have it go viral, because the whole point would be for as many people to see it and go vote,” Ms. Puckett said. “If your voice isn’t heard in this big conversation in our country, many things that may be important to you may pass you by.”

In AP US History, Ms. Puckett hopes to further educate students about the right to vote.

“The kids finally reach their junior year and they’re starting to learn about the more in depth history of the Unites States, and the struggle for the right to vote, that’s the first step,” Ms. Puckett said.

She also believes that schools should encourage seniors who can to vote in the November election, to participate in the global political conversation.

“I think it’s just another component of a good education, and what’s more important than changing the world though the democratic process,” Ms. Puckett said.