Seniors cast their first ballot in historic election

Natalie Edmonds, Co-Editor

The 2020 presidential election election came with excitement and anticipation, especially for students who were voting for the first time. Whether it was in person on Election Day, by mail or early voting, many young adults across the country cast their first ballot.

Math teacher Diane Drum helped over 50 seniors register to vote, reminding her students to be active in both their local and national democratic process.

“I think that the social media aspect of conveying real time events that were happening across the country were able to be digested intellectually by the youth,” Drum said. “Human beings have an inherent sense of right and wrong. When something is happening, humans can tell whether they believe that the core of the issue is correct or not.”

Senior Jillian Hibbard turned 18 the day before the election, and voted by mail.

 “Voting for the first time was very empowering,” Hibbard said. “I felt like I finally had control to voice my own opinions and contribute to my future.”

Hibbard also noted the role that social media played in prompting Gen-Z to be passionate about issues unique to their future.

“This year there was a lot of social media coverage and that allowed a lot of young voters to become interested and involved,” Hibbard said. “I wanted to vote because of the Black Lives Matter movement, to protect equal rights for all, and for my generation’s future.”

Senior Matthew Coomes was excited to vote in person on election day and watch his ballot contribute to the final results.

“I wanted that first time experience of casting my vote and knowing it would be accounted for on election day,” Coomes said. “I felt like I had contributed more knowing that my vote was included in those coming in on Nov. 3.”

Coomes saw firsthand the many factors that made the 2020 election have the highest voter turnout in United States history.

“The news played a big part in this election, as recent events flooded the news, unlike the previous election,” Coomes said. “Everyone knew what was happening, and it was very pertinent to people’s lives this year. They were extra inflamed to ensure their voices were heard, and were more attuned to the candidates.”

Drum promotes community involvement to all her students, and encourages students to take action and use their voice when they feel passionate about something.

“I want students to understand that the next election has already started,” Drum said. “What happens today is what you’re voting on in two years, and the things that you were thinking were important up until the day of the election have not been solved one way or the other.”

Hibbard noted that as a young adult, her vote is a vote for her future.

“If you’re 18, you’ve just become an adult,” Hibbard said. “The next four years are going to affect you, so you should be able to vote for who you feel is going to be best for your future.”

On Nov. 3, Coomes was ready to finally cast his first ballot, an experience unlike any other.

“I was fortunate enough to go into the voting station, and come right back out, so it was really nice to not have to wait in line,” Coomes said. “I felt like I was contributing to something that I advocated for, instead of just being engaged without being able to use my voice, like in the last election.”

Drum also noted that she was extremely impressed with students’ involvement in this election, especially since some of her own students were able to vote.

“I was exceptionally impressed with the saviness of this year’s students,” Drum said. “I think one of the highlights of this election was to actually see how well young Americans processed the issues and the misstatements that were so regularly thrown around about their generation.”