Students play active role in election, affect votes
October 26, 2022
If you are a U.S. citizen who is 18 or will turn 18 before Election Day, Nov. 8, you are eligible to register to vote. Since the deadlines for in-person, by-mail and online registration vary, those interested in registering should look for more information online. Once registered, online resources are available to find your polling places.
Although most Lab students are too young to vote, there are still ways to be a part of the process. Students can support candidates by encouraging their family to donate or by attending promotional events, can reach out to polling places looking for volunteers and can vocalize their opinions on political issues.
Students can also encourage other family members, friends and fellow students to vote. Junior Maria Razborova is working to increase voter engagement at Lab. Maria said that participation in the elections is extremely important.
“People are seeing how politics is directly affecting their lives,” Maria said. “And so I think [voting] is a great way to get engaged in democracy. Even if you think your vote isn’t doing anything, every vote counts.”
How are you getting involved in the elections?
Through the League of Women Voters of Chicago, Maria Razborova is currently working within Lab “to get all the seniors that are eligible to vote to get registered.” Maria said that “understanding the stakes of elections and why midterms are important” is crucial for both those who can and cannot vote.
As part of a Student Council initiative focused on expanding voting education, senior Lena Stole is handing out mail-in registration forms and lists of resources for voters to conduct their own research on the elections. “I think it’s really important especially to get high school students to vote,” Lena said. “We are sort of this younger generation and I think a lot of the time, our voices aren’t heard by politicians.”
On her social media, junior Katie Williams is spreading information relating to voter registration and applications for poll worker positions. Katie said she is also learning about the “overall importance of youth advocacy… [and] how one’s voice truly matters” through Junior State of America, a club she is involved with.
“I feel like democracy [is only] what you make of it,” Katie said. “So I feel like if we have mass participation, then our changes will eventually come.”