Hallie Bell and Nolan Carpenter – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – When people hear the word “election,” they may think about the presidential election. But midterm elections and general elections will be held this year in many U.S. states at all levels of government. This includes races for the House of Representatives, Senate, and local elections such as city council.election poster

“I really would encourage students to get involved with the political process,” said LRHS Advanced Placement (AP) Government teacher Kathleen Soles.  “Thinking about and speaking up for issues that are important to you is how you can hold politicians that are supposed to represent you and your concerns accountable. There are ways to get involved with local elections as well as national elections.”

Voting and government are not distant concerns for students.  Seats for local office, such as the school board, are up for election this year. Not only does the school board appoint a superintendent of schools, but it also creates rules, regulations, and curriculum for schools to follow.

“Midterms will effect students here in Manatee County because we have an open Florida House seat that covers Lakewood Ranch. That person can help push through laws for our area that are important to us. The governor race will also be crucial to future education policy in our state,” said Soles.

Some officials expect a high voter turnout for midterm elections this year due to a surge in youth voting registration.

“Voting this year is important because the midterms give young people a chance to experience voting before a presidential election,” said senior Jack Forman.

CNN reports that a poll conducted by AP-NORC and MTV shows 56% of people ages 15-34 rated their likelihood to vote a 6 out of 10, meaning they are very likely to vote. 32% of the young adults polled said they were “certain to vote.”

“We need to vote this November because it’s our chance to change the world,” said senior Julianna Catena.

Mustangs over the age of 18 who would like to register to vote this November can do so here before Oct. 9.

Students 16 years old or older are allowed to pre-register to vote here.

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