Editorial: Teens should make an effort to be heard

Editorial Board

Besides the impeachment of President Donald Trump, the elections of 2020 will soon begin to dominate the headlines of national media outlets and discussions about the future of our country.

The primary election in Texas is set for March 3, and early voting will start on February 18. For students who are 17 years and 10 months old before March 3, they will be able to vote for candidates they want to be the nominees for the party of their choice, including candidates for president.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary elections in Texas is February 3. Fortunately, there are 10 Akins staff members who are volunteer deputy registrars and can help students become registered voters.

But before students either prepare to vote or tune out because they are not old enough, we believe they should first consider becoming informed about the process.

In presidential election years, candidates spend a lot of time in relatively small states like Iowa and New Hampshire because they’re the first contests for the election cycle. Iowas’ election comes first on Feb. 3. New Hampshire will hold an election a week later on Feb. 11. Often candidates who win in these early states are able to build momentum that will help them win their party’s primary elections to become the nominee. Most states have primaries to decide who receives the most delegates, but a small number of states like Iowa and Nevada have caucuses.

The Eagle’s Eye believes that teens should get involved in the political process even if they are not old enough to vote.

— Editorial Board

In a Primary Election, voters go to their polling station and cast a ballot. Caucuses are very different because they are basically big meetings where supporters of candidates gather at a public place and work to create the largest group of people in attendance. This process of elections isn’t as common because a lot of people don’t have the time to go out and actively support their candidate at a specific time and place. Often in political campaigns, candidates want to get their base out to vote.

Campaigns especially target younger voters to go out and vote as young voters don’t often come out in large numbers in elections. The 2014 elections only had an 8% turnout for young voters in Texas. According to The Texas Tribune, 61% of registered voters in Travis county voted in the 2018 midterm elections.

The Eagle’s Eye believes that teens should get involved in the political process even if they are not old enough to vote. They can also volunteer for a cause that they care about. There are many organizations for a variety of different issues that have volunteers for the issues that people care about. Teens can also write letters to their current elected representatives to urge them to vote their preferred way on an issue. This is another way of how teens can get involved and let their voices be heard.

Most teens aren’t able to vote, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get involved in politics, as younger voters are only becoming a larger percentage of the voting block.