East students head to polls in Mid-Term Elections


Voters hold signs outside of the DC Capitol Building ahead of Nov. 8 Election Day. Photo courtesy of Ted Eytan/Flikr

Nia Cocroft, Editor in Chief

On Nov. 8, many East students took to the polls for the first time to cast their votes in the 2022 Mid-term Elections.

Others may have opted to vote in Kane County’s early voting period, spanning from Sept. 29 to Nov. 8, or chosen to vote by mail.

Among students headed to the polls Nov. 8 was senior Parker Radler, who voted at The Congregational United Church of Christ, one of the numerous polling facilities in Kane County.

Radler described his first experience voting as “a super easy process.”

“I had to show my voting card to someone at the front desk, they had to look at my ID, I waited in line for probably two minutes, [and] then went to the voting booth,” he said. According to Radler, the process took him about 15 minutes.

“As an American citizen, [voting] is a great right to have that I think everyone should take advantage of,” he said.

However, young Americans tend to be one of the least active demographics in terms of voter turnout.

In the 2020 election, the US Census Bureau reported that voter turnout for Americans aged 18-24 was 51.4%, the demographic with the lowest turnout that year. Americans aged 65-74 had the highest percentage of voter turnout at 76%.

“Young people have a desire to help others, make changes and solve problems that our country could very much use,” said East teacher Andrew Johnson.

“If [more] young voters were to go to the polls, they could affect who represented them and then the government would listen to their ideas, respond to their needs and incorporate more of them into the political process.”

Johnson teaches some of East’s government-related course offerings, including the Legal System, Civics and Honors American
Agenda. Johnson hopes that by teaching these classes, students develop an understanding of how the American government operates. This includes an understanding of the election system and how students can participate in it.

“It’s no secret that we are more divided now than we have ever been,” said Johnson. “We don’t seem to want to work with others who have different viewpoints to solve the issues we face.”

“For individuals voting for the first time, [this] should mean that they take the time to understand the issues and the candidates and they vote for the ones they feel will solve our problems.”

However, Johnson doesn’t believe this process stops at voting. “Once the elections are over, voters need to press those who were elected to find common ground with each other and solve the nation’s problems,” said Johnson.

“Holding politicians accountable to do this is just as important as electing them.”