by Audrey Payne | copy editor
The date is approaching when the eighteen year olds of Johnson High School will vote for Texas governor.
“I definitely want to vote because I’m 18 now,” senior Kaelin Biediger said.
By voting, students are voicing their opinions in the adult world, according to senior Caroline Zito.
“We’re adults now and..we have our own opinions too and I think that our opinion matters because as we get older, they [politicians] are going to be in office when we’re there so we need to know background and…what they are doing in office,” Zito said.
Government teacher Michael Martin has advice for students who wish to participate in the gubernatorial (governor) election.
“They can..become aware of the candidates and issues that are important to them,” Martin said. “In today’s society, where you’ve got access to everyone and everything on your phones, your laptops, your tablets, et cetera, then it’s easy to get subjected to a lot of information about the candidates.”
There are several ways to stay aware of the current political issues.
“I try to find the most moderate approach when I read the news. I base it off of things I learn at school, things that are definite,” senior Arman Chavez said. “I try to use a more logical approach than just the media and what I know is true and try to make my own opinion out of it.”
Communicating with other adults who have experience with voting is another way to learn about the current politics.
“ [I’m planning to get informed by] just talking to my parents because they’ve been voting for so long, they kind of know,” Biediger said. “And then researching on my own.”
Some students are learning about politics through their government classes, according to Martin.
“We actually are just finishing a unit that we’re dealing with elections and campaigns and the different types of elections that take place,” Martin said. “Hopefully they’re more informed than they were when they walked into the class. I think there’s maybe a realization of the simple fact that they’re on the cusp of being part of society that is going to be engaged and responsible for the future and the legislation and the politicians that are tied to that.”
The Republican candidate for this year’s gubernatorial election is Greg Abbott, and the Democratic candidate is Wendy Davis. Some students have made a definite decision on who to vote for, and some remain undecided.
“I know that Wendy Davis is running against Greg Abbott. I’m in favor of Wendy Davis; I’m far more liberal,” Chavez said.
It is important for people to vote, according to Martin, because it is a basic right as a citizen.
“It’s the most basic American right that we have,” Martin said. “It’s the single most important way that a citizen of this country can express their views, and help hold the elected officials accountable.”
Eighteen year olds have developed enough rational thinking to make critical decisions such as voting for political officials, according to Martin.
“Eighteen’s kind of that age in which we kind of feel that most folks are acquiring some maturity and some rational decision-making that would enable them the ability to make quality decisions to impact who they are today,” Martin said.
If eighteen year olds want to vote, they must register to vote by signing the paperwork.
“They [students] need to register to vote. That paper can be found online or in a variety of places, meaning teachers and schools and whatnot will carry their voter registration cards,” Martin said.
Voting holds people accountable, according to Biediger.
“I just think it’s just silly when other people are like, ‘Oh, I’m never going to vote for that,’ but then complain about it.” Biediger said. “I don’t think you have the right to complain about what’s going on in our government or anything like that if you are not really voicing your opinion or applying it.”