Stay involved in the primary races even if you can’t vote in March

Many younger students within the community - even seniors who are able to vote - remain uninformed of the state of the race or the positions of the candidates.

Seniors, engage in class, in the news, and in the primary race to set yourself up to make your best decision in March.

Martha Sanchez

Seniors, engage in class, in the news, and in the primary race to set yourself up to make your best decision in March.

The Minnesota primaries are set to take place on Tuesday, March 3. Anyone who will be 18 by the election is allowed to vote in them, meaning that within SPA, seniors will be the ones casting their ballots. But what about the rest of the school?

Oftentimes, for those who are too young to vote, the primaries are a relative afterthought. In past elections, it has been easy to focus our attention solely on the presidential race in November. Yet with the plethora of Democratic candidates vying for the nomination this year, the primary race is even more significant. However, many younger students within the community – even seniors who are able to vote – remain uninformed of the state of the race or the positions of the candidates. This reality is not surprising – without the motivation to vote, such engagement may seem to be meaningless. But in reality, engagement in democracy, even just staying informed, is one of the most powerful actions we can take to advocate for ourselves, our values and our country. 

Engaging in the primary races promotes a greater value of political involvement within our community and beyond.”

Engaging in the primary races promotes a greater value of political involvement within our community and beyond. The fundamental values of American democracy are built off the power of the people, and even though younger citizens don’t gain their right to vote until they are of age, their younger years are a vital chance to practice this engagement before it truly counts. 

By watching the debates, reading the news and participating in political discourse at school, students gain the skills they will use when the time comes for them to vote. If they don’t do this, they run the risk of being ill-prepared when the time comes for them to use their voice. Furthermore, even without the right to vote, engaging in a democracy is an integral part of being an American citizen. By engaging in these ways, we become more educated about our communities and our world and in turn, form our own opinions about how to make it a better place. For these reasons, engagement is both a right and a duty. 

For those who cannot vote yet, take this time as a chance to practice for when you can.”

So, seniors, engage in class, in the news, and in the primary race to set yourself up to make your best decision in March. For those who cannot vote yet, take this time as a chance to practice for when you can. Use your knowledge to engage with your senior classmates as well. Challenge their ideas to create discourse around differing viewpoints. Most importantly, use your privileges as an American citizen to you and your communities’ greatest advantage.