This November, across the U.S. and especially in swing states like Pennsylvania, young voters can make a big difference. In 2016, Donald Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1% (Circle Tufts). This leaves a lot up to young voters in the 2020 election.
In past years, Harriton has served as a polling location. For most students this means an extra day off of school, but some high school seniors are using this day to cast their votes, whether it is in-person or mail-in.
The pandemic has caused uncertainty around voting in general, so some students and their parents are nervous about voting in person, while others are voting by mail for the first time.
Harriton senior, Dara Bleznak, originally planned to vote by mail, but will now be voiding her ballot, so she can then vote in person, along with other students like Reiley Kreiser. Bleznak described herself as feeling “super excited to vote for the first time” and felt like she has “a voice in the future, especially with the political climate right now.”
A former Harriton student, Christina Kurre (‘19) is planning on voting by mail. When discussing this method, she said she was “nervous about receiving the ballot on time” and making sure her vote is counted. Pennsylvania has never done mail-in ballots, only absentee ballots before, so it will be a new process for the state as a whole.
Other seniors who aren’t 18 yet are spending their election day working the polls. Niosha Parvizi is prepared to “learn all about the voting process” and is looking forward to the experience. Parvizi chose to be a poll worker to better prepare herself for the 2024 election so she knows how to vote.
Jade Zhu is also helping out at the polls.“I’m feeling nervous for the outcome of this election because there is so much at stake,” Zhu explained, “knowing I can’t directly participate by voting is frustrating, but I am looking forward to poll work on November 3rd.” Most poll workers are working in Philadelphia or Montgomery County and will be there from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Students at Harriton are preparing for election day and hoping for the best. Though this will be an unconventional and unprecedented election day, eligible students are ready for their voices to be heard. November 3rd is right around the corner so remind your parents and eligible friends to vote!