Young first-time voters stormed the polls this election season


Isa Grunwaldt, Staff Writer

This year, there are a lucky few people from our school who were able to vote in our presidential election and make their voices heard. Senior Brooklyn Oosse is one of those lucky few. She woke up at 6:30 am to go and wait in line to vote and make her voice heard. With only eight people in line ahead of her, she was motivated and excited to use her power to promote democracy.

The first time people see ballots can be intimidating. Going in person means you have to have done all your research prior to getting to the polling booth. The ballot itself can be intimidating.

“It was very big and long. There were a lot of things on there,” Oosse said. “That was my immediate reaction.” 

For Ben Schnieder ‘21 and Claire Witting ‘21, mail-in ballots were the way to go.

“I felt like I was actually doing something important and I felt grateful that we lived in a country where we are able to elect our leaders,” Schnieder said. “There was nothing on the ballot that really surprised me. I voted by mail, and I researched which parties the judicial candidates were endorsed by because the ballot does not include that.”

Voting for a presidential nominee is huge. Nov. 3 has passed and the votes are starting to be dragged in and to be counted from all across the country. Now is the time when millions of people wait patiently as our democratic system works to find out who will win office for the next four years. 

“It felt great to vote. I was able to voice what I thought the country needed,” Witting said. “I did mail-in voting and the news is on 24/7 in my house so I didn’t need to research the candidates that much. My initial reaction to seeing the ballot was honestly excitement. I wasn’t surprised to see who was on it, just excited to voice my opinion.”

Stores, restaurants, and other businesses across the country took precautions and boarded up their shops as they expected unrest and violence in the wake of the election results. Protests leading up to this election have led to extreme violence in many of our cities. But surprisingly, on election day and night there was very little violence to be recorded. People came together from all across the political spectrum and waited in line patiently to vote. Everyone had a different agenda and were influenced by different issues and ideas, but this election proved that we are still able to trust and respect the other side of the aisle. 

“I did a lot of research and have always been very self-motivated,” Oosse said. “I found out I could vote when I was 18 when I was really little, and as I got older I realized just what that meant. That it was a right I had.”

Witting mailed in her ballot with hot-button issues in mind.

“My biggest influence was not only the country as a whole but also individual rights for women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.”

Schnieder had a fire in his veins when he mailed his in. After 18 years of not getting a say, he wasn’t about to pass up his chance to use his vote.

“The selfish and cruel way in which [our president] has led our country is dangerous for the marginalized groups whose rights he routinely attempts to subvert,” Schnieder said.

Voting only comes around every four years. People only vote on a president twice in all of college and a maximum of nine times once they hit 50 years old. Don’t miss your chance. Vote often, when you can, and know your power like young people all over the nation.