PHS Students Take to the Polls


Patrick Wright, News Editor

Over the past year, the 2020 election has been on the minds of almost every American. In this election, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence faced off against former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris in the bid for the Presidency.  Although most high school students are below the age of 18 and cannot vote, a few seniors were able to cast their vote in the election. 


Senior Abi Hayes said, “It feels good to finally be able to do something for me. It’s not just what everyone else says. I get to have a say for what comes from my future and who has the best impact for me. I am just picking what best represents my family and what best represents me. I learned about voting a little bit sophomore year but back then it wasn’t important because I couldn’t vote. Now I can take what I learned and apply it to my life now.” In a message to Hayes’s younger classmates to encourage them to vote, Hayes said, “Honestly whatever you think is best matters. What is better for you matters.” 


Senior Karlee Warthen, who is attending school virtually this year, also shared her experience with this current election. Warthen said, “I feel like my opinion mattered and made a difference for sure this time. The current political climate is horrendous and there are several things I hope to change with our current political system. I hope to help 11,000 kids in detainee camps. I hope to help the families of the countless Covid victims feel peace of mind by voting in a candidate who will actually do something. I hope to save my right to marry. I hope to save America.” Warthen has a similar message to her younger classmates. Warthen said,“I would say voting matters and when you do so, vote with heart and not for yourself.” 


Senior Wade Mercille said, “It felt really good to vote for the first time because it showed me that I have a voice in the world. What motivated me to vote was wanting to help elect a leader that would better my country. To me, voting means that you get to have your voice heard and have an impact on your country. I’m not sure how much of an impact my vote will have but every little bit counts.” 


Some seniors explained how voting was also something that they became educated on from school. Mercille said, “I learned about voting in school and hearing about how much of a difference my vote could make really pushed me to do it. Something I would like to change about our current political system is I would like all citizens to be required to vote.” Mercille encourages his younger classmates by saying, “I would tell them to hear from both sides, and really hear them out for what they want to change and plan to do. Do their research because there is fake news everywhere you go. Use reliable sources and then vote for who you think is best fit for president.” 


Senior Hannah Jarvis shared similar thoughts about voting. Jarvis said, ”I feel that everyone’s vote counts. No vote is too small to make a difference. I think voting is where you get a chance to help determine the future of our country, no vote goes unheard. The only vote that has a negative impact are those that don’t vote. Bad candidates and bad policies are put in effect by people that don’t vote. Everyone has a say. It depends on whether we are going to speak up and act on what you believe. We discussed voting, but we never went into a lot of detail about it. I would say my willingness to vote lies on what I believe.”

Jarvis said, “I think media bias is a problematic issue in our political system. The media is supposed to hold our elected officials accountable and help watch for corruption but instead, they have become biased and only tell the story that they want us to know, whether it’s true or not.” 


With a message to her younger classmates Jarvis quoted Margaret Mead. Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has.”