Presidential election approaches, some students eligible to vote

Presidential election approaches, some students eligible to vote

With the presidential election nearing, citizens across the United States are becoming more involved in political interests.

For students taking classes in government currently, it can be assumed that the election is a hot topic. Seniors in high school must also begin considering whether they plan to register to vote or not.

“Voter registration is an important and necessary first step if students want to vote in the next election,” instructor Abby Gillan said. “In the United States, voter registration is a requirement in all 5o states for a person to become eligible to vote.”

Gillan says the presidential election consistently brings out more voters than during mid-term election years.

“Students should register to vote and then actually vote on Election Day because it is important that Americans of all ages weigh in on who they want as their elected official,” Gillan said. “Anyone who will be 18 on or before Nov. 3, 2020, can register to vote now.”

When people register to vote, they will only need to do it again if they move or want to change information such as their “party affiliation.”

“It is a right that we have, and the best way to preserve our rights is to vigorously exercise them when given the opportunity,” Gillan said. “Voting is the most direct way we have to influence public policy, besides actually running for office.”

Gillan said it is a very simple process, yet it is one people have died for in history.

“Our ballots are forged in he blood, sweat and tears of soldiers and activists throughout our county’s history,” Gillan said. “I think voting is also a way to honor the sacrifices of those who fought to expand and preserve this foundational right.”

After people register to vote, they receive a card confirming their registration that contains important information, like where to go to cast a ballot.

“Cities and counties ae divided up into voting precincts,” Gillan said. “Each precinct has a location where voters who are living in that geographical area can go to cast their ballot.”

When going to vote, Gillan said, you would need to bring an approved government-issued ID. This includes a driver’s license, U.S. passport or other approved documents found on the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Gillan said voters will then present their IDs to match it to their registration, sign that they are who they say they are, and are given an electronic ballot.

“I personally always use a paper ballot,” Gillan said. “It usually keeps me from having to wait in line if there are a lot of people there to vote since most people use the electronic voting machines.”

To register to vote, a person can go to the Ellis County Clerk’s Office to fill out a paper voter registration card or at the Kansas Secretary of State website and register there or at your local DMV, where you get your driver’s license.

“If voting did not matter, then we wouldn’t hold so many elections in our country,” Gillan said. “Voting is the cornerstone of a representative democracy.”

What makes a difference in each election is the people who do not vote, Gillan said.

“They are the one’s who leave that right on the table and become subjects f their government rather than active participants of it,” Gillan said. “If all eligible American’s voted, it would be interesting to see the difference in our election results. I think if more Americans exercised their right to vote, our government would be much more responsive to the people.”