What motivates students to vote?

Pasha Fooman

On Nov. 8, 2022, the U.S. held the midterm elections. People across the country responded to the vote, flocking to the ballots and exercising their constitutional rights. Regardless of who they voted for, each and every one of them voted for a reason. For students that were old enough to participate in the vote, what issues motivated them to go to the polls?

During the 2022 General Elections, the Corte Madera Recreation Center was one of many ballot drop box sites where adults could exercise their right to vote.

To some voters, the privilege of voting is enough motivation itself; this was certainly the case for senior Ashley Morris.

“When I turned 18, one of the first things I realized was that I had the opportunity to vote. It is something all U.S. adults should do to get their voices heard and make a change in the community around you,” Morris said.

Beyond the inherent value of the vote itself, Morris cited some specific propositions on the midterm ballot that drove her to the polls.

“One of the propositions on [the ballot] that I had the opportunity to vote on was about keeping abortion legal in California. I felt that it was important for my voice to be heard, because there are probably other girls out there who are relying on my vote,” Morris said. 

Along with issues of reproductive and human rights, another point pushed senior Calum Wilson to the ballots: a desire to make a change with his Constitutional powers, in opposition to the use of fear and division by radical elements. 

After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion became an even more critical decision on the ballot. (Photo courtesy of news week)

“Another issue that was important to me is the radicalism that we can continue to see in our political parties. I wanted to look for moderation because, with radicalism, we bring more chaos, and the country doesn’t need that right now,” Wilson said.

It was the connection between human rights and radicalism that further influenced Wilson to try to make a difference with his vote. 

“Radicalism only leads to more dangerous paths. The more we let it into our political system, the more likely these human rights will be infringed on,” Wilson said. 

Like many others across the country, the inherent value of the vote certainly plays a role in convincing students to cast their ballots. These students, who now have an entirely new power upon adulthood, are eager to utilize it. Combine this with the myriad of issues facing the nation, and the result is a young generation grateful to have a say in the politics they previously watched from the sidelines.