18 and Registered to Vote? We Want You!


Calling All Voters!: Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker will face off in what is likely to be a very close runoff race on December 6th.

As the final votes of the midterm elections were counted earlier this month, the state of Georgia announced that there would be a runoff election for the senate race between the incumbent Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock and his Republican opponent Herschel Walker. Although Warnock had a narrow lead over Walker in the polls, he did not meet the 50% majority that Georgia requires for a candidate to win the race. The runoff election will take place on December 6th, with early voting open to all Georgia counties on November 28th. That being said, if you are 18 years old and registered to vote before November 7th, get out there and use your vote in this extremely important election. 

Voter registration and participation have soared in recent years due to early voting and absentee ballots. However, on average, only about 60% of each state’s population uses their right to vote. Many people feel that their vote doesn’t matter as one in a sea of millions of other votes. Others are disillusioned by unseemly political advertisements on TV that make all of the candidates appear disappointing, or are simply overwhelmed by the myriad issues faced by American politicians at all levels of organization. Lack of participation is an even larger issue in runoff elections. Many voters do not feel the same sense of urgency around a runoff election that they would in the days leading up to a midterm or presidential election, even though important political decisions are still at stake. “The tired narrative about votes not mattering is becoming more and more clearly flawed – so many of our recent elections have come down to just a few thousand votes,” said AP World History teacher Caitlin Tripp. “Your vote MATTERS so it’s critical that you vote in any election you can!”

Another perplexing issue surrounding elections is voter education. Many people do not know how to register to vote or procrastinate until it’s too late because they think it’s a long, complicated process. On the contrary, it’s actually quite easy. In Georgia, you can register by visiting the Secretary of State’s website and filling out the voter registration application, which takes all of 20 minutes. The application can be completed in one sitting, and the only required identification information that you may not know off the top of your head is the last 4 digits of your social security number or your driver’s license number. Many states, (including Georgia!), have even begun an automatic program where you can register to vote by checking an opt-in box on necessary Georgia DMV forms. 

The last step can also be completed with just a few keystrokes, and this is doing your own research about the candidates that you have the choice to vote into office. All this takes is a visit to each candidate’s campaign website, where their political aims are usually plastered everywhere. You can even view the issues that the candidate has supported or introduced in the past if they are the incumbent. It is easy to believe the dramatized mudslinging ads that we see on TV, but these are often exaggerations of the truth, if not complete lies. As we are becoming adults and are in turn more deeply impacted by political decisions, we need to think carefully about the policies we support and what we value and choose a candidate that will put these into practice in office. “This decision will undeniably impact decisions and policy for the next two years, and thus the lives of millions across the country,” said senior Matan Berg.

Do your research, use your right, and RUN to the polls on December 6th if you are eligible to vote! If you are not yet registered to vote, you can’t vote in this runoff election, but below is the link to register to vote so you won’t miss out next time: