Parents influence votes, beliefs
The Internet is filled with educational and political websites devoted to the voting process with Project Vote Smart one of them. Locate a list of online resources at the bottom of this article.
Flip on the television, and a barrage of mudslinging ads immediately fills the room. Yards are littered with campaign signs, and stalwart supporters paste stickers on their cars, proclaiming their loyalties. It must be election time.
While the nation goes crazy with this political frenzy, the atmosphere on campus can seem, at times, subdued at best.
High school students find themselves in a unique position during an election year; too young to vote, but old enough to care and participate on minor level.
"I am going to work at the Republican headquarters on Shaw Avenue near 41," Chris Byrnes, '06, said. "Robert Foshee (civics teacher) want us to work three hours in the election effort. I have the same beliefs as (George W.) Bush so I chose to work at the Republican Party. I will hand out flyers from 3-8 P.M."
One campus student expresses her political passion through volunteering and tradition.
"I come from a long line of Republicans," Hillary Kell, '05, said. "I help my parents walk precincts and make phone calls each year. If I were to choose to be a Democrat, I think my parents would throw me out of the house!"
Another takes a stand for her beliefs in the face of overwhelming opposition.
"I'm supporting John Kerry in this election," Jessica Hannickel, '05, said. "It can be hard because I feel like there is a huge majority supporting George W. Bush on campus; I think I'm definitely in the minority here."
Both girls recognize that family has had a definite impact on their political beliefs.
"I know that my family has had a big influence on what I believe," Kell said. "I agree totally with my family, but I agree with the Republican platform on my own terms too. I agree personally with their morals and positions on what I consider major issues."
Hannickel's family values have translated into her own beliefs.
"The reason I'm supporting John Kerry is because I agree with his stances on unions and retirement," Hannickel said. "I live with my grandparents, and they rely on their pension. I just feel like Kerry has the best position on the issues that matter most to my family."
Whatever their beliefs, both girls encourage their peers to get out and vote.
"It's so important that everyone vote, regardless of who they support," Kell said. "Voting is a right in this country, and if no one takes advantage of it, this country won't be so free anymore. Plus, if you don't vote now, while you're in high school, odds are you'll never get around to it."
For more education on the elections, go to www.vote-smart.org/election_president.php, www.DeclareYourself.com/ and www.aiga.org/content.cfm/getoutthevote. The Republican National Committee's website is www.rnc.org/; the Democratic Party's online site is at www.democrats.org/, the Green Party can be found at www.gp.org/ and the Libertarian Party's homepage is www.lp.org/.
For more information please visit the following:
Project Vote Smart
Aiga.com--Get Out The Vote
Republican National Committee