Catherine Gagulashvili copy editor
Mikaela Rabizadeh media editor
Rinesa Kabashi staff writer
Resurgence of voting
CHICAGO, Illinois — Midterm elections are around the corner — and the Highlights staff is right at the intersection.
On the Chicago intersection near the Loop Supersite, early voters are at the polls, placing their votes for the Midterm Election. Post the Trump election in 2016, there has been a political climate that has triggered an inflow of voters. According to Time Magazine, a record of 800,000 people registered to vote for the midterm elections. Thirty-four percent of young people aged 18-21 reported that they are “extremely likely” to vote.
“The political climate is toxic. It should never get to a point like this. Public dialogue should be civil; it shouldn’t be full of accusations and harsh words. We should be making the country better for everyone,” Charles Albert, a Chicago-raised voter, said.
With people dissatisfied with the government and changes made, more and more are beginning to exercise their civic duty.
“This election is specifically important for many people because those people didn’t vote. They’ve sat back and watched things happen to them. All of a sudden, they’ve decided it’s important to vote,” Albert said. “I believe it’s important to vote in every election. If people thought that way, this wouldn’t be such a critical election.”
An anonymous source, who must remain unknown due to his career in civil service, believes the election is clouded by unnecessary factors. However, underneath the excess information elicited by the “cable news and trendy magazines,” there is always hard facts.
“It’s still an election to pick how we want the country to be run, but it’s just that instead of talking about issues, we are talking about nonsense. Instead of having debates with facts, there’s a lot of personal attacks, which shouldn’t weigh into our decisions.
High schoolers rally to vote
Among the resolute voters aged 18+, there has also been an awakening for high schoolers to party to the polls. Organizations including A Band of Voters (ABOV) and Inspire have dedicated their time in motivating and educating youth to vote in all elections, midterms and primaries alike. ABOV, specifically, calls for a voter revolution, a goal they aspire to achieve by making voting a social activity for young people to flock to.
“I’m not pleased with our current political climate. I don’t like some of the decisions the current administration is making. Even if I don’t know if my vote will personally matter I think doing nothing is even worse than just going out and having nothing happen,” Maria Gutierrez, a senior from Central High School in Kansas said.
She, like many high school students, feels that if she doesn’t voice her opinion through a ballot, the country will not be representative of its people and their thoughts of what the country should be.
“It’s my responsibility as a voter to go out and to try to change it to make it better for what I want my country to become,” Gutierrez said.
Others simply feel that it is their duty to play a role in their government.
“When I turned 18, voting was one of the things I was really looking forward to. It allows me to be active in a very important process-the federal, state and local government,” Beverly Hills High School senior Jude Binkley said. “Voting affects your friends and your family. It affects everybody in this country.”
This civic duty is felt by students across the country.
“Our government runs on the general public’s opinion and what they want our government to reflect. If people don’t vote then they will not be represented.” Nina Lavezzo-Stecopoulos, a junior from City High School in Iowa City said.
Beverly Hills community
Back in the Beverly Hills community, the city’s Board elections line up with the midterm elections. With double the responsibility to make informed decisions at this time, community members stress the importance to vote.
As a concerned parent and active community member, Mona Abrishami is voting in both elections to ensure the future she envisions for her children.
“I’m voting in the board elections because the board members’ decisions affect my daughters’ education. She is in elementary school and will continue on as a high schooler in this district. I am voting for her future and the future of our community,” Abrishami said. “I’m voting in the midterm elections, for the same reason, but instead to vote for the future of our country.”