Get active: register to vote

Get+active%3A+register+to+vote

Ethan Tornberg, Reporter

A coming of age duty, a civil right, and a responsibility you hold as a citizen: voting. 

Voting is the cornerstone of democracy and the democratic processes that allow a transition of power in this country. Every 2 years, the United States holds an election at the local, state, and federal level to determine who will hold critical decision-making roles in the government. 

For many high school seniors, the ability to vote is right around the corner. At the age of 18, you gain the right to vote. But with the lowest voter turnout rate in the country – only 46% of registered voters 18-29 according to a 2020 report by the New York Times – young individuals often neglect this ability that they possess. 

In an interview with Mr. Walker, an Enochs Government and Economics teacher, he explained the vital importance of voting. “It gets them involved in government and politics at a younger age. Everything revolves around the government. And it gives them a good opportunity to give a say in the United States.”

This year, during the June 2022 primary and November 2022 general election, voters in California will be given the choice to vote and decide the outcome of elected positions and the passage of new proposed laws. 

Registering to vote is the first step in order to take part in this constitutional right and duty. When asked about how someone could register to vote, Mr. Walker suggests “online is the best way to register to vote at https://registertovote.ca.gov/.”

He also noted that  “16 and 17 year olds can pre-register to vote in California.”

Now, in the state of California, all registered voters are mailed a vote through a mail-in ballot, but you still have the option to go in person to a polling site if you choose. 

When going to the polls or voting by mail, it is important to be well informed about the candidates running for office.  Mr. Campbell, the Enochs Journalism Advisor, states that the best way for a voter to be informed about a candidate is to read the “voter registrars guide, sometimes mailed or online. There will be pros and cons and information on candidates.”

After viewing the guide, you can also look to reliable media sources, but Mr. Campbell cautions straying too far from trusted sources. “Alternative news sources are fine and can be more beneficial, closer to sources than major news, but be careful about bias and know when you are being swayed.”

In a day and age where social media is widespread and very influential, it can be easy to only view this as your source of information. Mr.Campbell, when asked whether social media is a reliable source of information when determining who to vote for, said “more often than not, no. It can be when using legitimate news sources on social media. There could be one good source, and a 1000 bad ones.”

Voting is a very important aspect of our government. You may think your vote is not important, but it holds more value than you realize. Registering to vote when you turn 18 and being informed about new proposed laws and candidates running for office is all a part of your duty as a citizen of the United States. 

Register to vote at, https://registertovote.ca.gov/

If you are not able to access the internet, a paper registration can be picked up at your local county elections office or a nearby post office.