Voicing Your Vote

Why voting is important and how to register.


Rebecca Barnholtz, Staff Reporter

In today’s day and age, the political sphere has gotten more tense as time goes on. With new issues popping up left and right, teens across the nation have begun to take a stance for the causes they believe in.

March 10, 2020 was the day of the Missouri Primary. In the presidential election, the primaries are where voters have the opportunity to vote out of all the presidential candidates on who will hold the nomination for their respective party.

Over the past two months, a significant amount of candidates have withdrawn from the election.

The candidates include the following (and the date of their withdrawal): Joe Walsh (R, February 7), Michael Bennet (D, February 11), Michael Bloomberg (D, March 4), Pete Buttigeg (D, March 1), Amy Klobuchar (D, March 2), Deval Patrick (D, February 12), Tom Steyer (D, February 29), Elizabeth Warren (D, March 5), and Andrew Yang (D, February 11).

The current candidates who are still in the running are the following: Joe Biden (D), Tulsi Gabbard (D), Bernie Sanders (I), Roque De La Fuente (R ), Donald Trump (R ), and Bill Weld (R ).

In 2016, Missouri had 933,783 votes casted, and this year the primary had a turn-out of 975,804 voters. This jump of 42,000 voters was prompted by the younger generation including the class of 2020.

Before the primaries, 67 PCH seniors were anonymously surveyed on whether or not they were registered to vote. Of that 67, over half who were surveyed marked that they were registered (58%). The next largest group was of the 22% of individuals who said that they were indeed not registered but do plan on registering in the near future and for this election. The last 19% of those surveyed marked that they were not registered and do not plan on voting for this election. 

Why Voting is Important:

Voting has many advantages and the simple process of registering and the action itself are some of the many pros. With voting, it has different values to everyone depending on your stances on certain topics, involvement in the election, and overall political stance.

Especially for the presidential election in the fall, every vote does count. With the electoral college, it is imperative that if someone is passionate about their candidate winning that they vote.

If you or a friend is on the fence about voting, educate yourself first. Look up the different topics that candidates are supporting, watch debates, and stay up to date on the news (which can be done on T.V. or you can read articles on different news websites such as CNN, Fox, Apple News, and more).

How to Register:

The registering process is not a difficult one. You can register at multiple places such as concerts, or other public spaces where a booth with volunteers will be registering people to vote. Mail is also sent out to homes by different campaigns and companies to get more households registered.

The most popular way to register is online. By googling “register to vote”, countless results pop up including vote.org. All you need to do is submit your name, address, birthday, email address, and phone number. Soon enough you fill out a short survey and are registered. 

If you are unsure if you are registered or not, check at vote.org or click here https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/ you then submit the information they ask for and it is checked.

How to Be Involved If You Can’t Vote:

Being involved in politics isn’t only for those who can vote. If you aren’t able to vote there are a multitude of ways you can be engaged and make a difference for the causes or candidates you support.

  1. Encourage all of your friends to pre-register and register to vote
    1. Guide them to this story to find out how and why to register!
    2. You can pre-register if you are 17 and a half on the same website you would use to register.
  2. If you can, drive people to the polls
    1. Even if you can vote, put together a carpool with friends or family members and go to the polls together
  3. Use social media platforms to amplify the issues you care about, share articles and posts!
    1. If you have Instagram, share these things on your story to educate others
    2. Twitter is a great way to start the conversation about different topics
    3. If you use Facebook, you can also share and discuss different issues and articles
  4. Volunteer for local campaigns
    1. If you are home for the summer, this is a great opportunity to get a summer internship.
    2. Contact:
      1. If you identify as more republican, contact Representative Sara Walsh, Internship Coordinator 573-751-2134
      2. If you identify as more democratic, contact Representative Kip Kendrick, Internship Coordinator 573-751-4189
  5. Ask teachers you’re comfortable with and family members if they’re voting and encourage them to vote
  6. Join a texting team
    1. If you identify as more democratic:  https://democrats.org/text-out-the-vote/
    2. If you identify as more republican: https://www.gop.com/rnc-invests-additional-25-million-toward-midterms/
  7. Join a phone bank!
      1. If you identify as more democratic: https://www.mobilize.us/
      2. If you identify as more republican: https://www.gop.com/

The ability to vote is an exciting opportunity, yet it is up to the individual to decide whether or not they want to vote now or in the future.