Students Decide: 18 too late

 

Three students who turn 18 the day after the election, must watch as their peers vote without them in the upcoming election.

 

While the majority of America celebrates or grieves the results of the 2012 presidential election, three students will be celebrating their 18th birthday. On Nov. 7, the day after the election, seniors Tyler Jones, Ashley Sacco and Justin Zeger become legal adults.

That’s one day too late to vote.

“It’s irritating,” Jones said. “I’m prepared for this duty, but by technicality, I can’t participate.”

The would-be Obama supporter says he feels especially frustrated because this election was his chance to find middle ground between his liberal mother’s ideas and those of his conservative father.

Sacco also looked forward to voting this election because of her parents. “Both my parents vote. This is my mom’s second time to vote since her citizenship.” Although Sacco would rather not specify who she would vote for, she said, “I think it’s important to vote if you want to make change. If you want to make a change, you[‘ve] [got to] vote.”

Although he is ineligible to vote this election, Zeger wanted to make a difference and therefore “decided to be an activist.”

He cofounded the HHS Teenage Republican Club and tried to volunteer at the Republican National Convention this past August.

“People need to be more educated though,” Zeger said in regard to voting. “I think there should be a general U.S. government-knowledge quiz to make sure you’re educated.”

He knows that such a statement can seem ignorant. The active Republican, who was supposed to be born on Oct. 31, said, “I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democratic as long as you’re educated and know what you’re talking about.”

The three students support different candidates and have varying political ideas. Nonetheless they all hope to see changes between this election and the next election.

“I want to see Citizens United [a Super PAC] get repealed. They’re the single worst thing about politics,” Jones said.

“I hope our middle class is stronger,” Sacco said. “From now until then, [the middle class] just might be.”

Although the current voting age is what prevented Sacco (and some of her fellow students) from voting this year, she has no desire for it to change. “Teens,” she said, “don’t really understand” politics.

Both Jones and Zeger agree teens need to be more involved in politics. While Zeger hopes to see his generation more focused on politics and government as a whole, Jones just appreciates that more peers of his are getting excited and “throwing themselves into it” rather than being “more apathetic [than they were] in 2008.”

Zeger also hopes to see “a lot less slander on behalf of both parties” between now and 2016.