Seniors Hit the Polls on Election Day


Photo courtesy of Madeline Lawrence

Madeline Lawrence takes a photo of her very first “I Voted” sticker after voting the first time. “I do a lot of protesting and things but it was nice to directly affect something,” said Lawrence. Every year voters are given a sticker after voting, some people keep their stickers to remember and keep track of all the times they have voted. Lawrence has stated that she is never going to throw her stickers away.

Sydnee Rockey, Staff Writer

As a new wave of voters gains the ability to vote, State High seniors who have turned eighteen are voting for the first time. Madeline Lawrence and Aubrey Zuech, both seniors at State High, got to vote for the first time this year. 

“I was anxious, just because I didn’t really know what to do…” Lawrence said. “It’s a big decision and it matters. I wanted to make sure I had researched the people running and knew who I was voting for and what they stood for.” 

Lawrence also said that she believes that there should be more done in schools to prepare students when voting for the first time. “I went in with no expectations or knowledge on how to do it what-so-ever,” Lawrence said. “It’s a good idea to maybe have something in school to help because it’s a very important decision.” 

When speaking about the voting experience itself she said that it was harder than she expected. “The ballot was huge, I was expecting a couple names and two options but it was more complicated than I thought.” She believes that it was worth it because she got to use her voice to fight for change. “I do a lot of protesting and things but it was nice to directly affect something,” Lawrence said. 

Zuech had a slightly different experience. “I went with my mom so that took off some of the pressure and stress of not knowing what to do,” Zuech said. “She told me what would happen and we looked at a sample ballot before I went so I had a better idea of what to do, and you just kind of talk to [the people working the polling place], so it’s not as stressful as I thought it would be. It’s a ‘hyped up’ moment, voting for the first time, but then you get there for the first time and it’s just sort of like ‘I voted, yay!’”

When asked how it felt to vote for the first time, Zuech said that it felt good to “feel like you have a say even though like I didn’t know much about the candidates. I’m not gonna lie, I looked up a few of them and I knew who I didn’t like, and it felt good to know that me voting gave them less of a chance at hurting the community.”

When asked about the atmosphere in the polling place itself, Zuech felt it was a relaxed environment. “I think I went at like a pretty like ‘not-busy’ time,” Zuech said. “It was like at 2:00, so no one was really there. But I just walked in and they gave me a ballot and told me what to do and I did it. It was kind of anti-climactic, in a way. But it was still a really fun experience.”

The voting process can often seem daunting for younger voters, and it is common to feel nervous. No matter how their experiences differed, they both agreed that voting is an important and empowering experience.