May 17, 2020
By Joseph Brubaker
The presidential election may still be months away, but many of LHS’ seniors are already gearing up to head to the polls.
In New Jersey, U.S. citizens can register to vote at 17 years old, and they can vote on election day as long as they are 18 on that date and have registered to vote by Oct. 13.
Nonprofit Vote, an organization that encourages voter participation and registration, outlines the reasons it is important to vote. These include having a say in the issues that matter to you, sending a message to politicians and honoring the nation’s history as well as your right to vote.
According to Nonprofit Vote, every vote counts because it affects the outcome of an election, sends a message to candidates, influences political parties, helps shape future legislation and impacts upcoming elections by determining who might run or win next time.
Senior Michael Perez, who is 19 years old, said he plans on registering to vote online. This will become possible when a new law takes effect in June. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, New Jersey is the 38th state to institute online voter registration.
Perez said he intends to vote in the presidential election on Nov. 3.
“It is important to vote because votes are a crucial part [of] putting your favored candidate in office,” Perez said.
He said everyone who is eligible should register to vote.
“Then, everyone can support the candidate they want to win and support their opinion on certain [issues],” Perez said.
“Everyone that can vote should vote because votes are important to elections, and every vote is important to swaying an election.”
Nicole Iglesias, another senior who is already 18, said regardless of age, anyone who is eligible to vote should do so.
“Everyone’s vote matters, whether they are a high school student or a mother, every vote is important and every vote counts,” Iglesias said.
She said she plans on voting in the presidential election but recognizes that the joy she gets from participating will be affected by the election’s outcome.
“A pro of voting is that your view is accounted for in a form of support to the overall cause, but a con is that the person you vote for does not always win,” Iglesias said.
Eighteen-year-old senior Jesse Diaz, who registered to vote at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in Lodi, said he will be casting his ballot in November.
“Everyone that can vote should vote because votes are important to elections, and every vote is important to swaying an election,” Diaz said.
He said he follows politics on a daily basis and is already considering which candidate to support. Diaz said he is eagerly awaiting Election Day.
“When I walk out of the voting booth for the first time, I am going to feel accomplished,” Diaz said. “That feeling that I will get is a feeling everyone should have.”