Turning 18 and Registering to Vote


Karly Wangler, Staff Writer

As many people know, this year is an election year. On November 3, everyone that is eligible to vote has the choice to do so. I am one of those people that is able to, and I do not know how to feel about it. My birthday comes just a couple of days before the day to vote, so I am able to register. Politics were never a big topic in my household growing up, and I have many questions about the whole process. This is the process that I went through in order to register to vote.

I went to the courthouse on a Tuesday morning. I thought it would be a good idea to bring my father along just in case I had any questions. The ladies in the County Clerk office on the second floor had the paperwork I had to fill out in order to become eligible to vote. The paperwork is multiple questions about your personal information like full name, gender, address, ethnicity etc., but then there is the main question that everyone wants you to know the answer to. What party are you for? Meaning are you going to vote Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Independent or other? That is a big choice. For me personally, I did not know what to choose. I do not know a lot about politics, and I felt pressure from family and friends on their opinions of what I should choose. I started thinking strongly about it the closer the day got, and realized I want to be able to experience different societies throughout the world that can influence my decision. I started researching further into politics, and learning more about our government in order to help me choose. In the end, it is all up to you.

Being from a small town like Alliance, most people probably think that their vote will not matter, so they shouldn’t waste time out of their day to go vote. This is false, because even though our votes may not make the biggest impact on who becomes president, it impacts who we elect in our community. According to National Geographic, “Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. Most states have a ‘winner take all’ system where the popular winner gets the state’s electoral votes. There are also local and state elections to consider. While presidential or other national elections usually get a significant voter turnout, local elections are typically decided by a much smaller group of voters.” Voting is an extremely important choice that all citizens should do, because it affects both your county and your country.

After going through this process and learning more about politics, I believe if you are a student in the high school and are able to vote, you should. If you are not able to yet, I recommend you research and look into voting and elections to help grow your knowledge on the topic. Voting is a big decision that most young adults know little about, and deserve to know more. As a school, I believe AHS should start providing more courses related to this topic earlier on in high school. Do your part, and vote!