Students weigh in on upcoming election

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Although only a fraction of students can vote in this election, most respondents stressed the importance of voting.

Sascha Harvey, Editor

Mirroring the state of America’s voters, students are divided on the upcoming presidential election. In an online survey distributed to all Maize High students, 36.3% of 102 survey respondents support Donald Trump and Mike Pence while 51.9% support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

Some students are taking politics into their own hands, whether by spreading their beliefs online or helping with a local campaign. Senior Meaghann Flower is assisting in Sedgwick County Commissioner candidate Mike Iuen’s campaign.

“Helping with a local campaign has been a great experience for me and made me realize how much I would like to be involved in politics in some way in the future,” Flower said. 

Although only three surveyed students plan to vote in local elections, various respondents expressed their support for Democratic Barbara Bollier against Republican Roger Marshall in the election for U.S. Senate. 

“I am very curious to see the outcome between Marshall and Bollier,” senior Maddie Patry said. 

Numerous students have differing opinions than their parents when it comes to politics but have found common ground in the upcoming election. 

“My parents and I both believe you must vote for who and what aligns closest to your own personal values,” Patry said. “It’s what you think is right, not anyone else.”

Senior Mitch Waggoner dislikes the two-party system but tends to align himself with Democrats. His parents are moderate Republicans, he said, but in the upcoming presidential election, they are in agreement with support for Biden and Harris.

“I have more left-leaning views [than my parents],” Waggoner said. “But the good thing about that is that my dad and I have had countless really good and in-depth discussions about politics.”

Many students voiced their support for Biden due to his opinions on things such as COVID-19, equality and healthcare.

“One of the most important issues to me is affordable healthcare for all,” junior MaryGrace Liew-Nguyen said. “A person’s position in life should not determine whether they live or die.”

While Waggoner and Liew-Nguyen support Biden, other students fall on the opposite end of the spectrum.

My parents and I both believe you must vote for who and what aligns closest to your own personal values. It’s what you think is right, not anyone else.”

— Senior Maddie Patry

“I like Trump over Biden,” senior Lillie Diaz said. “Although I don’t agree with everything he has said and done, I do agree with most of it.”

Diaz considers herself a Republican but not an “extreme conservative.” Her parents agree with her on politics for the most part, but she considers herself to be more conservative than them. An important issue to her is the burning of the American flag.

“I can’t stand the disrespect,” Diaz said. “More annoying to me is that standing for the pledge and National Anthem is now associated as being a die-hard Trump supporter and a racist.”

A popular opinion among students was a distaste for the polarization of political parties and the push to vote completely Republican or Democrat. 11.8% of surveyed students expressed support for a third party, with one student saying he will vote for someone other than Biden or Trump in the election.

“I don’t really feel like the candidates are super qualified,” sophomore Jaden Hutton said. “There’s so much drama surrounding the election. I’d rather just be neutral and hope for the best outcome.”

Most students who responded to the survey agreed on one thing: it’s important to exercise the right to vote.

“Living in a democracy gives us the freedoms to vote and make our voices heard,” Waggoner said. “Therefore, we need to use those freedoms to our benefit and vote.”