Wakefield youths impact local elections


Staff Photo by Max Rubino

Wakefield community members may vote at Wakefield Middle School. In this election, youths have a lot to say.

Max Rubino, Photography and Graphics Editor

Voting is a democratic process that dates back to 1776 when only white men over 21 could participate. Now it is 2022 and the voting process has expanded providing people 18 and older with the opportunity to make a change in their communities. Teenagers today have a powerful voice in the future and by casting their ballots they can be heard in the election process.

Civics teacher Jacara Poole is encouraging students to vote in the North Carolina midterm elections today.

“It is very important for kids to be as involved in the voting process as the politicians,” Poole said. “Referendums (votes on laws and policy) on the ballot affect their lives directly whether they know it or not.”

The midterm election can be considered more important than the presidential election because it has more of a direct impact on the citizens of Wake County. The events on November 8 will determine who represents the Wake County area and North Carolina as a whole. Wakefield alumnus Minu Lee is a student at North Carolina State University running for Raleigh City Council District B. 

It is very important for kids to be as involved in the voting process as the politicians.

— Poole

“I’m running because representation really matters to me. Growing up I’ve always seen a lot of younger people running for office and actually winning,” Lee said. “It’s about time we see that representation on the city council level, in Raleigh in general.”

There’s a lot that goes into choosing who a person wants to represent the city. What party does the candidate associate themselves with? What are they planning to bring to the table? What are they advocating change for? It’s a complicated process for people of all ages. However, starting young can help with dissecting all these factors in the future. Even students younger than 18 can learn about these components in the voting process. Patricia McCall is a senior who plans on voting in the midterm elections.

“Being involved and being informed as a teenager gives you a basis to work off on when you become an adult,” McCall said. “Even if you can’t vote you can sign petitions and volunteer at the polls.” 

Teenagers choosing to vote can open up a whole new world of ideals and possibilities for the county. 

“We can’t just have one certain demographic because it leaves out a good chunk of voters,” Lee said. “Having a young person involved goes a long way,” 

A lot of people, not just teens, think that their one ballot in a sea of other ballots makes theirs less significant. However, very often races can be quite close.

The main thing is just to get out and vote.

— McCall

“[Everyone’s] vote counts and that opinion should push them to be more active in voting in state and local elections,” Poole said. 

Teens today have to make tough decisions during this process because of how many crucial issues are present in society. It’s important to look at unbiased sources in the process of picking a candidate. There are many different issues to consider, and unfortunately, one candidate cannot take on every challenge at once. 

“[In politics] no issue is singular,” Lee said. “You have to set them all together and address them at the same time.” 

Local elections are important because the elected candidates can impact a lot of issues everyone faces as a community. Everyone, especially teenagers can come together and cast a vote to bring together the voices that initiate change.

“It’s so important right now and there’s a lot of political turmoil and extremist ideas right now. The best way to combat extremism is to be informed on the actual facts of the matter,” said McCall. “The main thing is just to get out and vote.”