Election Day is fast approaching, and a new generation of voters will be casting their first ballots.
“I’m kind of excited,” said Sarah Baranow, an 18-year-old who will be voting for the first time. “It’s one of the bigger milestones in life. It’s finally here.”
“I’m definitely excited,” said Eric Wessel, who will turn 18 years old prior to the election. “This midterm election is extremely important for Democrats.”
Ian Wagner, 18, said he is “sort of” excited about the election and will vote for the first time.
“But it would be better if it was not a midterm election. It’s not that big of a deal,” he said.
But not all teenagers are excited about the upcoming election or politics in general.
“I don’t think it’s anything special,” said 18-year-old Sarah Vasquez. “I probably won’t vote. In my opinion, my vote does not matter. So many other people vote. My one vote isn’t going to matter.”
Vasquez said local politics get overlooked.
“With my friends, we don’t talk about local issues,” she said. “I hardly ever hear people talk about local politics.”
Baranow said she has not been closely following the campaigns. She said she will likely research the candidates and issues on the night before the election.
Wessel said school funding and health care are important issues to him.
He said he has been following the campaign of Laura Kelly, a Democratic candidate for governor.
Emily Tady will turn 18 just before Election Day and she intends to cast her first ballot.
“I am a little nervous because I know that my vote can actually affect my country,” she said.
Tady said school funding is an important issue to her.
“A few issues that are important to me, especially as a student, are school funding, the Common Core State Standards and the standardized testing method that is used to show national averages,” she said. “I’ve seen first-hand how these issues affect students.”
Tady said teenagers as a whole do not think about politics on a daily basis.
“However, I think as they get closer to being 18, teenagers grow in appreciation of the impact that politics and voting can have on them. … I believe that if everyone who turns 18 by November registered to vote and actually voted, then the impact would be huge.”