The 2022 midterm elections again arrive at a time of much-needed urgency and action. With the previous midterm election indicating an uprise in voter turnout, this year’s election will likely continue to reflect these heated patterns. Most notably, the overturn of Roe vs. Wade this year has become a motivation for many to cast their voting ballots, hoping to restore abortion rights nationwide.
Though most students fall beneath the appropriate voting age, individuals like Sydney, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy, have begun to actively voice their opinions and harness the support of others in the community.
Following the Supreme Court’s reversal decision, Sydney started routinely attending local protests supporting abortion rights before organizing her own protest with a few others. At these gatherings, she often encourages those attending to vote in the upcoming elections, which many are becoming increasingly aware of on their own.
“Voting is incredibly important as teenagers or as a youth. We recently more than ever realize what is at stake, especially abortion rights,” Sydney said.
Most importantly, voting draws unity in the community to incite impactful change and bring awareness of crucial social issues to individuals.
“I think [voting] empowers people to act. It emphasizes the power of individual voices working together and the collective strength,” Sydney said.
Not only is it important for students to recognize the value of voting, Brock, a senior at Torrey Pines High School who co-presidents the Gender Sexuality Alliance club, advocates that voter education is equally necessary.
“It’s going to become very important to educate ourselves and to vote. That’s the only real way for the LGBTQ+ society to move forward and pass some laws or acts that will move us in a positive direction,” Brock said, in response to the rise in hate crimes and anti-LGBTQ legislation in the country.
At the state level, California’s midterm elections ballot focuses on issues including abortion rights and an additional emphasis on climate change, seen with Proposition 30. The particular proposition aims to reduce air pollution by subsidizing the sales of electric cars and funding wildfire safety.
Evangelina, a sophomore at San Diego High School, runs the school’s Climate Club. One of the club’s main goals is to educate students about voting and the different legislations to combat climate change.
“We want to educate them about different legislations through protests specifically,” Evangelina said. “It’s important that they have a general knowledge of what is happening and can educate not only for themselves in the future but their families as well.”
As youth political expression continues to soar, students constantly add their footprints of justice and equity to the political map in this country. Their advocacy for voting rights helps hold the rest of the community responsible for people’s decision-making in the upcoming midterm elections and the future.