The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Students attending colleges in swing states recognize the importance of their vote

Students+attending+colleges+in+swing+states+recognize+the+importance+of+their+vote
Frances Leibovich

Going to a high school in the nation’s capital, Jackson-Reed students are exposed to American politics and major current events daily. Though we may not realize it, many of the students at our schools have a deeper understanding of our country’s political nuances and complexities than many other high schoolers, whether it’s having parents who work in politics and government, or simply following local news. 

As we enter an election year, many members of the Class of 2024 will have the opportunity to vote in November. Since the passage of the 23rd Amendment, DC’s three electoral college votes have gone to Democratic candidates. Because of the overwhelming majority and our lack of representation in Congress, many people in DC feel as if their vote doesn’t truly matter. However, students leaving DC will now have the ability to vote for other states. 

This impact will most strongly be seen for students attending schools in swing states. According to recent polls, six major swing states will play a key role in the 2024 election: Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Other states like Ohio and North Carolina will be important as well.  

Senior Wesley Hoy, who will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, emphasizes the importance of his future vote: “Wisconsin seems to be the most contentious state, with the vote split down the middle in terms of Trump vs. Biden.” Hoy also notes that the politically diverse landscape of state will ultimately influence both parties in their campaign: “We need this election to be a wake-up call for the mainstream Democratic party, which is currently ignoring and angering a huge percentage of its voter base.”

No matter where a student goes to college, being educated on both local and national politics is becoming increasingly important. “Growing up in DC has made me more conscious of politics and my impact on them,” says Senior Bea Gumbinner, who is headed to Oberlin College in Ohio. “My dad works in elections and has been helping me navigate registering to vote and finding local news sources to discover biases.”  

Many students will also have to adjust to living in a more politically diverse environment. Senior Colette Bernards, who is attending Michigan State University, says “It will be different on a day to day basis at first, but that’s something you have to learn how to navigate in life anyway.” 

Gumbinner also adds that having conservative family members has played a role in how she views politics: “My experience with my sister being a conservative and her difficulties in dealing with that at our school have pushed me to be more open-minded, and I think that it will be important.”

In terms of getting involved in politics at school, Gumbinner says she is working hard to educate herself on local politics, as well as finding ways to advocate: “I plan to continue my current political actions of planning and participating in climate action, specifically protests and email campaigns to government officials.”

“I think that EVERYONE should vote,” says Hoy. “Even if you are not within a swing state, the election for congressional representatives and local elections are important to vote for, as they will have a much greater impact on your daily lives.” 

As students leave DC, it is vital that they recognize and understand the complexities and nuances of the politics in our nation. It is up to us to create change, and the best way anyone can do that is by using their voice to advocate and vote!

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About the Contributors
Devan Mehta
Devan Mehta, News Editor
Devan is the person on the Beacon with the best hot takes, which ultimately is why she is one of the fabulous opinion editors. She does theater, choir, and Bollywood dance but manages to still be opinionated in all of those things! You will often find her reading a romance novel, watching the Baltimore Ravens, or doing both at the same time. She also would give Taylor Swift literally any of her organs if necessary.
  • 2021-23: Junior Editor
  • 2022-24: Opinions Editor
Frances Leibovich, Director of Art and Design
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