First Time Voters

Marysol Cazarez '21 dreams about voting for the first time.

Photo provided by Marysol Cazarez

Marysol Cazarez ’21 dreams about voting for the first time.

Serena Park, Copy Editor

With Election Day right around the corner, you may have noticed an increase in political ads across platforms—from television commercials to Instagram posts.

Since this year is a presidential election, voter turnout is crucial for the next few years in our country. Although around 138 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, this was only 58.1 percent of eligible citizens. In regards to young voters, age 18 to 29, voter turnout in 2016 was only 46.1 percent of eligible voters.

Rosary’s AP Government teacher, Mrs. Ward says, “Government is not meant to only benefit the party in power, it is meant to protect the voices of all Americans and when we do not vote we are saying that we do not care and that it is okay for others to make decisions for us and our future.”

As for young voters, Mrs. Ward told the Royal Reporter, “It important for young people to vote because it is important to use your voice to shape the future policies of your community and the world in which you live.”

A sample ballot and 2020 voter information packet. (Photo provided by Serena Park)

While the majority of the senior class is not eligible to vote this election cycle, there are a few excited seniors that will be voting for the first time this November.

Senior Marysol Cazarez ’21, who turns eighteen just days before Election Day, is ready to vote for the first time this year. She says, “I’m super excited because the future of our country depends on all of us voters.”

Like many teens across the country, as a first time voter, Marysol was not very experienced with political affairs. In order to prepare to vote, Marysol told the Royal Reporter, “I have been doing research to see who and what I want to vote for.”

Similar to Marysol, Grace Fairchild ’21 will be voting for the first time this November. She plans to vote by mail and says, “Voting is important because it allows you to have a say in who represents your ideas. Your vote has an impact on both yourself and your community, so voting allows everyone to work towards the betterment of their environment.”

While you must be eighteen years old to vote, citizens can preregister to vote as young as sixteen, and will be ready to cast their ballots as soon as they become legal adults.

Claire Early ’21 preregistered to vote when she took her driving permit test. She explains, “Being preregistered to vote is crucial to me because when the time comes, I am able to participate in decisions that affect me and my community.”

If you haven’t already, make sure to register (or preregister!) to vote for this year’s election at https://registertovote.ca.gov/ .

Check your voting registration status here: https://www.usa.gov/confirm-voter-registration .

California’s voter registration deadline is October 19.