COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Election Day is quickly approaching and for hundreds of thousands of young people, this will be their first time voting.
NBC4’s Matt Barnes went to his alma mater Bishop Hartley High School to talk to four senior students about what’s important to them as they get ready for their first time at the polls.
“I’m excited because I’m kind of interested in politics,” said senior Okole Ngalla. “Plus, I feel like because it’s the midterm elections and I feel like local elections are more important than presidential ones so I’m excited about this one.”
Less than 50 percent of people ages 18-24 in America vote in elections. That is a fact that is not lost on these students.
“I believe that’s because of the cynicism that’s been instilled in us,” said senior Alyssa Benson, “because we are constantly seeing the government doesn’t change much in our lifetimes so we don’t think we have that much impact but we do.”
Each of the students agreed today’s politics are more polarizing than they can remember in their lifetime.
“Just kind of seems like it’s overly competitive now,” said senior Myles Goliday. “Now it seems like it always reminds me of a reality TV show instead of how it was actually formed to be respectful in nature.”
No matter how down these students get about politicians and the political system, they know it’s important to get out and vote and make their voices heard.
“I think it’s really important because that’s what we talk about here is being a faithful citizen,” said senior Jacob Culbertson. “Being a faithful citizen means participating and trying to do what’s best for the country. And if you don’t use the power you have to vote, then you’re not really being a true American citizen.”