Young Voters Eager to Cast First Votes in 2018 Midterm

November 5, 2018

By Anndrea Anderson

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released last week shows that 40 percent of 18- to 29-year olds say they will “definitely vote” in the upcoming midterm election.

“This group right here, this is Gen Z and then the Millennials, they are now the biggest voting bloc in this country, they’re bigger than the Baby Boomers,” said Scott Sorenson, Communication and Government teacher at New Tech High School.

To make a difference, they’ll need to show up and they need to be informed.

“We get to vote, and we get to have a say,” said 18-year-old New Tech senior Caitlin Schneider. “And if we are not educated enough to make an informed decision then there’s no point in us voting.”

Students at New Tech are tasked with making sure they’re well-versed on the candidates and the issues.

“We want the students to understand the importance of researching Amendment W, Z, X because the majority of the people who go into the ballot booth don’t know anything about them, other than who’s got the best commercial before entering to vote. So we want them to be informed,” said Sorenson.

Even though some of the students are too young to vote this time around, they understand why having this knowledge is so important.

“It is a lot of pressure, because to be a well-informed voter, it is a lot of research, because you can’t trust everything that is put out by the candidates,” said New Tech junior Margaret Samp.

Those who are old enough to vote aren’t taking their newly-earned civic duties lightly.

“It’s something that I wish I would have been able to do sooner,” said Schneider. “But I understand why they make us wait till we are 18 but I am going in level headed. I know what I want to vote how I want to vote and what I think is important to me at least.”

They understand the weight each vote has – and want to use theirs to make an impact.

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