Let your voice be heard


Mila Kellam, Opinions Editor

Turning 18 comes with a lot of responsibility and accountability.  Voting is one of the most important civic duties that Americans are given.  It is an opportunity to allow our voices to be heard, while having a chance to reform issues that we don’t agree with.

It is essential for us to be involved in politics and legislation as we become adults. It seems like a daunting task for young adults, yet the process is simple. Many people believe that their votes don’t matter yet one vote does matter, especially at the local level.

“As an immigrant, I treasure our democracy more than just about anything. There are a lot of people in the world without a voice,” said history teacher Jun Shen. After turning 18, we can vote on anything that appears on the ballot, including candidates and propositions.

So the question is: “How do you register to vote?” The process is straightforward and, fortunately, fast! Every year, social sciences teachers Jonathan Todd and Mark Alvarez have a voter registration activity during their second semester, but if you miss this day of class, you can register online. All you need is your driver’s license, social security number and some other basic information. Another option for those who are not yet 18 years old is to pre-register to vote.

“There is an advantage to knowing it’s taken care of – especially if your birthday is right around election time, said history teacher Kristin Cowles.

Are you searching for advice and tips about voting?

“Select your party affiliation thoughtfully and carefully, and vote in the primaries!  I had a high school friend who registered Communist as a joke when he was Republican.  As a result, he couldn’t vote in the Republican primary in 1996 and regretted his goofiness,” said Shen.

It’s important to research each candidate and proposed legislation. For most high school students who are turning 18, registering to vote sounds like a drag.  But after reading this article, you should know that registering is simple and extremely important. You can register to vote online (http://registertovote.ca.gov/ ), post offices, city halls, the Department of Motor Vehicles or at the Orange County Register of Voters.