Students get politically involved as poll workers


Illustration by Esther Yun

Ella Naugle, Jessie Norwood

Despite the majority of South’s population being under the legal voting age, students like junior Lauren Ravury still found ways to be politically active in the 2020 election by being a poll worker.

Ravury was very interested in the democratic process, but was too young to vote, so her AP Government teacher encouraged her to become a poll worker.

“I really love learning about politics and talking about the elections,” Ravury said. “Since I am not [18], I felt like being a poll worker was a really great opportunity for me to learn more about the election process.”

Civics Teacher Tara Tate feels that young voters tend to not vote because they don’t feel represented. Younger voters need to be engaged to understand their value in the democratic process, Tate explained.

“The age group that turns out to vote the least is the 18-24 [year olds],” Tate said. “It is often because younger adults don’t feel connected to the ‘system’.”

Students who cannot vote but still want to be involved can campaign for a candidate senior Annabelle Northup explained.

“[Texting and calling voters] are great ways to campaign,” Northup said. “I wrote postcards to voters in swing states [urging] them to vote.”

Due to events in 2020 including the presidential election, Covid-19 and social justice movements, Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel thinks students are more aware of politics.

“I’ve noticed this year there has been more interest in [politics] because of the election and the major things going on in our country [like] the Black Lives Matter movement and [Covid-19].” Fagel said.

Ravury explained the multiple steps which are taken to uphold the integrity of the election and ensure the validity of each vote.

“We check-in voters by asking for their last name and address,” Ravury said. “Once [voters] are [finished voting] we make sure their ballot goes through the scanner without any problems while making sure [it] remains confidential to the voter.”

Sophomore Ray Smith* acknowledged that Election Judges are vital to having a fair election. Still, he said this election’s ballot counting and recording was inaccurate.

“Although interference from other countries was limited this election, I do believe that fraudulent activity occurred during this year’s election, especially due to Covid-19 and the mail-in voting process,” Smith said.

Ravury encourages students to get involved, as she has seen older generations dominate politics.

“We need our voices heard so that we can be the change in politics that America needs,” Ravury said. “If there is a problem in our country, students need to be the ones to fix it. We are the future and it is time to seize what we want”

*Names have been changed