Every Vote Matters

Students+are+being+educated+on+voting+in+the+cafeteria+as+they+register+to+vote.+

Grace James

Students are being educated on voting in the cafeteria as they register to vote.

This past week, Ozark High School has seen a student show their ability to inspire change and lead people to become more knowledgeable in the society they live in.

In 2010, less than 25% of the population under the age of 24 voted. That is common in all demographics in the United States. This issue is one that Junior Jenifer Pavlova aimed to tackle. Pavlova helped run a voter registration drive aimed at getting students, who were of age, involved in voting and educated in making smart choices.

When asked about the importance of voting and how it impacts the society we live in, Pavlova said, “If we don’t go out and vote, the government won’t know what we the people want. We are lucky enough to have a democratic government, and many people take that for granted and don’t use it to their advantage. Many people think that their one vote doesn’t matter but it does. Every single vote matters”

Mr. Andrew Thompson also had some input into the situation. When asked why the popular vote matters even though we use our delegates to represent our vote, Thompson said, “The national popular vote does not matter, the state popular vote does. 48 out of 50 states award the selection of their electoral college electors to the political party who wins the state popular vote. The other two states (Maine and Nebraska) award their electors to the popular vote winners of each House of Representatives district. There is also a movement of several states to award their electoral votes based on the national popular vote, but that will not become active until that group accounts for a minimum of 270 electoral votes. They only have 196 pledged to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact at this time.”

Thompson was also asked how low voter turn out could affect the political skew of multi-part governments. To that, Thompson said, “Low voter turnout disproportionately negatively impacts moderate candidates. Any election involving 3 or more candidates that results in a plurality, like most presidential nomination races, gives an advantage to candidates who characteristically espouses more extreme views. Since moderate voters are less likely to vote in the primary, a candidate can potentially win a plurality by appealing to just 12.5% and sometimes as little as 4.5% of the total registered voters of a party. Given that the 9-25% of voters who participate in primaries tend to share less moderate views already, it is easy to connect the lack of voter turnout to the general trend of political radicalization in voters and candidates in the United States.”

Both Pavlova and Thompson have shown just how important voting and active participation is in out government. Pavlova has changed this community for the best.