Gen Z speaks on 2020 election

Maya Brisan, Staff Writer

With the 2020 election results coming out in a few days, many adults are hoping that their votes counted. However, people under 18 were not able to vote, and therefore are watching the rest of the country decide what their future looks like. This may be one of the most important election cycles because of what is going on in the world. 

Gen Z has become one of the most politically active and open-minded generations. This election will impact us more than anyone, and therefore we should be aware and active in it. Planned Parenthood, same-sex marrige, the environment, civil rights and so much more that will be our future can be affected by this election.

“I feel like we are truly on the verge of something,” Tualatin High School junior Ryan Ehrhart said. “This is such a decisive moment in our history, and I mean that well beyond whether or not Biden wins. The next few years are going to be such a referendum on how the younger generations are going to lead this country.”

Art by Stella Fetherston / Art Editor

One thing that teenagers can do to make sure they are politically active is to register to vote. Anyone 16 or above can register, and it makes the person feel as if they are already making a difference. To register, you can go to the Secretary of State Online Registration site and fill out the registration form. You will need a driving permit or license. 

“I am registered to vote,” Tualatin High School senior Faith Hermann said. “I feel like [the current political climate] is very divided. [I am a] little nervous to see what the outcome of the election is.”

Tualatin High School senior Allison Johns is 18, and therefore eligible to vote in this election. She sent in her paperwork to register, but when she checked online, she was not registered and it was past the date to register and vote in this election.

“I believe it is past the deadline for voter registration, and sadly my paperwork had not yet been processed,” Johns said. “If there was any way for me to register, I would.”

Students have also made up their minds on who they would vote for. Even students that can’t vote yet have their preferences on who they would vote for this year.

“I would vote for Biden. It isn’t [an] opinion that Trump is not fit to be president of the United States,” Johns said. “[H]e does not represent the moral or political change I want to see in our country. Biden is not ideal either, but he is the only competition likely to win at this point.”

Some people say that both candidates are bad, and the phrase “the lesser of two evils” has been thrown around in many conversations about the election.

“I do absolutely support voting for Biden solely as an effort to unelect Trump,” Ehrhart said. “The stakes really are too great, and as horrible a choice this is, I have to say that the path of least progress is less terrible than the direction we are currently headed.”

Because of the effect that this election will have on the younger generations, many people are experiencing feelings of dread when it comes to the election. As teenagers who are politically active, we want to do as much as we can about the current situation, but we can’t do much yet.

“My overall feelings are anger, fear and depression,” Ehrhart continued. “This year has been so miserable politically, it feels like nothing can go right and nothing will. I really don’t have a prediction on who’s going to win. Polls tell a strong story, but they did last time, as well.”

Ehrhart is referring to the previous presidential election in 2016, during which the public polls showed Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump. This year, the polls show Joseph Biden ahead of Trump, but like Ehrhart, many people do not trust the polls anymore.