Published Oct. 6, 2022
BY EMMA BROWN
As California’s Nov. 8 election day draws closer, members of Carmel High School’s senior class who are eligible to vote seem to have reached a consensus: Despite a desire to vote, the overwhelming majority are currently unregistered.
Eligible students primarily attribute their hesitancy to register to a lack of knowledge about ballot measures and candidates
“It’s all so distant and abstract,” says senior Jim Moreau, who will not be voting in the midterms. “I am a legal adult; however, I don’t pay taxes or don’t own property, so a lot of this stuff doesn’t impact me directly. Granted, it impacts my family, but I don’t know much about the measures I’d be voting on, so I would just be voting for my family’s political party.”
Others have struggled to determine what political party to register with, as well as what issues are important to them.
“For now, I would register as an independent,” says senior Athena Wilson, who plans to register once she turns 18 in October. “In the future when I gain more knowledge, I’ll definitely join a party.”
Despite an overall hesitancy about the logistics of voting, most CHS seniors recognize the importance of the process.
“I’m really excited to be able to vote, because I want to feel a part of our democracy and start to learn more about political issues,” senior Jerry Marnell says.
In recent years, young voters have become increasingly influential in election results as the demographic’s rate of registration has risen. In 2020, approximately 50% of Americans ages 18-29 voted, an 11% increase from 2016, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
In the upcoming election, eligible students can vote on seven California ballot measures in addition to local offices.
Proposition One asks voters to weigh in on a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, namely abortion.
Propositions 26 and 27 discuss the legalization of gambling, with the first pertaining to sports betting at licensed institutions, while the latter would legalize mobile sports betting, taking the revenue and dedicating it to public institutions looking to create solutions to homelessness, mental health support and tribal economic development.
Proposition 28 mandates funding for art and music education in K-12 institutions, and Proposition 29 would create stricter requirements and regulations for dialysis clinics.
Proposition 30 would increase taxation on personal income more than $2 million by 1.75%, allocating the money generated to zero-emissions vehicles and wildfire prevention programs, while Proposition 31 would uphold the ban on flavored tobacco.
Students who will be 18 years old by Nov. 8 can register to vote at sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration, or can submit a paper voter registration form to Monterey County’s elections office in person or via mail. To be eligible to vote in the upcoming election, students must submit all necessary documents by Oct. 24.
When registering to vote, students must submit personal information as well as how they plan to vote, either in person or through the mail, and the political party, or lack thereof, that they prefer.