Register to vote, Class of 2023


Finn Nowacki

The voting registration deadline is Oct. 11.

Finn Nowacki, Website Editor

On Oct. 11, the deadline to register to vote in the Indiana midterm election will close. While not everyone who is a member of my Class of 2023 will be able to vote, it is of paramount importance that you take the time to register and go to the polls in November.

In recent years, there has been significant growth in turnout among 18 to 29 year olds. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there was a 16 point jump from the 2014 to the 2018 midterm election. Even so, this meant only 36 percent of those eligible cast a ballot. There is significant room for improvement. 

AP Government teacher Cale Hoover believes it to be especially important for high schoolers to vote.

“You are getting young people introduced into our system and for our system to be successful you have to have participation,” Hoover said. “If we can get our fresh 18 year olds participating and valuing the process, I think that bodes well for the future generations and to make sure things continue to sustain themselves.”

Midterms overall have much lower rates of turnout than elections in presidential years, and this trend is exasperated among younger voters. Even though the highest office in the land is not up for grabs this cycle, there are still many important offices on the ballot. Congressional seats, state legislative seats and local elections like school board and county offices—arguably the most important seats when it comes to day-to-day life—are up.

“The local officials are making decisions that might impact your life more on a day-to-day basis,” Hoover said. “A local official helps get the road out in front of your house repaved and all the potholes gone. Things that might actually just make today better because you don’t run into that thing and blow a tire or bend a rim.” 

When it comes to local elections, your vote has an even greater impact than at any other level and therefore, these officials can have the greatest immediate impact on your life. Whether you are heading off to college next fall or plan on remaining in this community long term, this is still your community. It is crucial to make your voice heard, especially at the local level.

A common belief is that your vote does not matter, or will not make a difference in the grand scheme of things. This could not be further from the truth. 

“Everybody’s vote counts as one, and you may live in a state where you side with the party that struggles to win elections but I’m a big believer that being a part of the process is important and I particularly don’t like listening to people complain who aren’t trying to do something about it,” Hoover said. “It is a civic responsibility to be an active participant in trying to make things better. A vote is the simplest way to do that.”

There are a variety of different resources available to research candidates running in your area. Vote 411 is a great resource to give information on candidates running in your area, or simply just look up the name of a race and your area. You can go to campaign websites, find out what candidates think and pick the one who most closely aligns with your own beliefs.

Registering to vote only takes about five minutes, and as long as you are going to be 18 by or on election day, you are eligible to vote. There are QR codes around the school with the link to the Indiana Voters Portal where you can follow the instructions to get registered. After that, when the time comes on Nov. 8, find a local polling station and make your voice heard.