Students Taylor Beam and Eli Hall share information about the upcoming elections and state amendments on the ballot in Rams Den on behalf of the Young Democrats club.

Shepherd Students Share on Voting Plans

After nearly two years into the Biden presidency, it is almost time for the 2022 midterm elections. While the polls may indicate that there is uncertainty as to which political party will hold power, there is one thing that is for certain: the voters will decide.

Every state in the United States is holding some sort of election, whether it be for federal, state, or local offices. West Virginia, for example, is holding elections for U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate, State House of Delegates, a plethora of local elections, and four state constitutional amendments.

Each election, Generation Z is steadily growing to become a consequential part of the electorate. According to CNN, voters aged 18 to 24 made up almost ten percent of the voting electorate in 2020.

With Shepherd University having thousands of college-aged students, it is no surprise that many of them have different reasons or motivations for why they plan, or do not plan, on voting.

Senior Jaelyn Wratchford says she is absolutely voting in November. “I think it is really important for us to use our civic right of voting and be involved in the discourse of what guides our communities,” Wratchford said.

Sophomore Madison Weatherholtz believes everybody should vote and shares her reasoning as to why she is voting. “I believe every American citizen that has the capability to vote should take advantage of their rights and vote,” Weatherholtz said. “I’m voting because I want to see leaders who hold the same values and morals as me in office.”

Junior Wesley Reece shared that he doesn’t have an interest in politics, but also stresses the importance of voting. “While I may not agree with politics, I will partake in them, as it our civic duty,” Reece said.

Reece also has a message for those who are able to vote. “Please vote, as it is important,” Reece said. “We have the power to remove people we don’t like in office.”

Sophomore Aaron Mathew, who also plans on voting in November, also discusses the power of deciding who is elected into public office. “I want to be able to make a choice on who we elect into our offices,” Mathew said.

Junior Cameron Colwell, who was elected a few months ago to serve as Student Government Association President, is voting this November so his voice can be heard. He also stresses the importance of voting if you are in an underrepresented community.

“I would encourage people to vote and get out and have their voices heard,” Colwell said. “Especially if you are a minority or somebody who is in an underserved community.”

While it appears that many students at Shepherd University plan on voting, some students are making the decision to not vote in this upcoming election. Sophomore Natalea Johnson is registered to vote but shared her reasoning as to why she does not plan on voting.

“I am not educated enough on the people to know if I want to vote for them or not,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to make a bad decision.”

While every individual has the decision to vote or to not vote, it is not too late to change your mind. Most states have already started some form of early voting, and every state participates in Election Day on Nov. 8.

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