Perry Students at the polls


Roman Valenzuela

Perry Students have the choice to vote in person and through mail-in ballots in November.

This election year, Americans have been reminded just how important a vote is. While much of the coverage has been focused on the presidential election, state legislative races are happening nationwide as well. Here in Arizona, many electoral races occur, from executive positions like governors and mayors, but also legislative positions as well. With hundreds of students turning 18, new demographics are emerging and may decide the outcome of elections across the board.

Since the 26th amendment came into effect in 1972, the young voters have played an increasingly important role in nationwide elections, and the 2016 presidential election was no exception. With an overall increase in voter turnout for the 18-29 age range according to the United States Census Bureau, 46.1 percent of registered voters cast their ballots. With voter turnouts for young people being relatively low, compared to older generations, many are not only voting, but participating in ballot counting, or working the Voting booth.

Programs like Step UP allow students to work the polls in Maricopa county, and with coronavirus lockdowns still in full effect, this program, like many others around the country, has been canceled. In an email response, a Step UP representative expressed their hesitance to recruit high school students as poll workers, “This decision was based on the ongoing pandemic, the uncertainty of school district changes/ dates of operation, longer work assignments, and lacking enough locations to staff a large number of students”. Despite the cancellation of this program, students can still expect a presence at voting booths across the country, as well as mail-in options providing a contactless way to participate in the election process.

The involvement of students in the election doesn’t end there, as many over the age of 18 have chosen to vote in November. Seniors like Zachary Linton are choosing to fulfill their civic responsibility. Every year, clubs and organizations on campus work to register eligible students to vote. Come November, Linton plans to vote in person, citing his concern for the mail-in ballots being thrown out “I believe that in-person there won’t be any interference”. Concerns surrounding both methods of voting have plagued the 2020 election since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the United States in mid-march, and with November only two months away, time is running out for a solution.