Counting Hillsborough High School’s votes
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With the Nov. 6 election fast approaching and early voting already taking place at select locations, eligible voters on campus have begun to consider their voting options.
Fairly evenly split, some of the eligible voters are planning to vote and others are sitting this election out.
For senior Aisha Ademola, her first-time voting will be a necessary privilege. “[Not voting] is neglecting the fact that you have a chance in the United States. We don’t live in a country where there’s too much corruption in the voting system, you know that no matter what, your vote will be counted,” she said. “People who don’t vote aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity, right and privilege that they have so it kind of makes me look at them and think they don’t understand how important it is to vote or that they’re not trying to educate themselves. It’s very disappointing.”
For her, the importance of voting has been ingrained since childhood. “I’ve always wanted to vote, it’s something that I think is important and my dad always made sure that we knew how important it is, and he votes continuously every single election, so he definitely showed me the responsibility that I have.”
But it’s not just about democracy. She’s trying to prove a point. Many voters were discouraged by the results of the 2016 presidential election, and her family was no exception.
“My mom is an immigrant and she voted for the first time in the last presidential election and it made her very distraught. Originally, she didn’t want to vote at all, but I told her that she needed to because it’s important that America be on this path where it’s improving,” Ademola said. “But because Donald Trump won instead of Hillary Clinton, it made her very disappointed and she said: ‘I don’t trust the system now.’ So, I decided that I’m going to register to vote because I want to prove to my mom that the system actually does work.”
But not everyone shares her feelings.
For some, voting just isn’t really a main priority. “I think it’s probably important to vote but I don’t think that it’s the most unreasonable thing to not vote yet because you’re not very certain on what your beliefs are. So, I think you should be more solid in your beliefs before you vote,” senior Anthony Khmarin said.
Khmarin missed the Oct. 9 registration deadline because he was unaware of it. According to him, by the time he realized he needed to register, he just felt unprepared.
“By the time I realized that I should’ve registered, it was too late, and I didn’t feel like I was informed enough. I feel like to have voted, I would’ve needed to be more informed on the platforms of the current people on the ballot,” he said.
Had he realized the deadline was approaching when it was, he might have spent Nov. 6 differently. “I should’ve paid more attention to [the registration deadline] but I didn’t. If I had known, I probably would have voted,” Khmarin said.
His circumstances aren’t unusual. Of the 87 eligible voters on campus, only 48 registered to vote in time for the midterm election. But this doesn’t mean that high schoolers won’t show up to the polls.
Immediately following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas earlier this year, youth voter registration in Florida soared 41 percent, according to polling done by TargetSmart. Various voter registration events have also taken place to bot only register young voters, but to encourage them to make it to the polls each election.
The final day to vote in the 2018 midterm elections is Nov. 6. Polls close at 7 p.m.