Participating in Elections at MHS

Megan+and+Michael+Brugger+at+the+polls+on+March+10th.

Courtesy Photo

Megan and Michael Brugger at the polls on March 10th.

Hayden Miller, Reporter

The Presidential Primary Election took place in Idaho on Tuesday, March 10th. Voting was held in Washington, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, and North Dakota. All states where, on Tuesday, polls were open for citizens to vote for the candidate which they favor to be nominated for the Primary election. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are going head-to-head in the race for the Democratic nomination. While being opposed by Donald Trump who, being the sitting president, has an extremely solid footing in the Republican vote. 

“I supported [Donald] Trump because he was the only one that supported me morally. I didn’t think some of the democratic views were something I’d vote for. I like the way he thinks more logically,” Republican voter and senior Jessica Jensen said. 

Jensen, however, was part of the majority of the voting class here at Madison because of her Republican views. Because Donald Trump has essentially secured the Republican nomination for November’s election, the real question raised this primary is, who will be the Democratic candidate? The two strongest runners are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, both with extremely disparate supporters. Joe Biden reaps most of his voters from moderate democrats, as well as southern democrats. While Sanders pulls intensely from progressives and young voters, a demographic clearly reflected in Madison High School’s voting age, Democratic seniors. 

“I would support Bernie Sanders, but I would also support Joe Biden over Donald Trump, but Sanders is my first pick,” Senior Christian Stewart said. 

“You know it’s controversial, especially in Idaho, where it’s such a right-wing area… but no, I’d definitely say [I’m voting for] Bernie Sanders 100%— more like 1000%. But don’t put me on blast,” Senior Boston Jensen said. 

Photo by Hayden Miller
The sticker given to voters on March 10th.

Students also had a lot to say about the policies of Mr. Sanders

“I really like medicare for all and I like that he doesn’t take money from big corporations and big donors,” Stewart said.

“The policies I like most of him [Sanders] are probably canceling student debt, as well as income equality,” Senior Hamilton Hardy

Being a very politically polarized place with a large number of right-leaning students and a generally small liberal population, political ideology has definitely affected student’s lives, whether it be at school, home or with friends. It’s extremely important to get the experience of the minority students here at Madison. 

“I get ridiculed for my beliefs a lot actually. Sometimes I get made fun of. People think I’m like a communist—I’m not. I believe in higher taxation but I’m not a communist. I feel pretty isolated ‘cause I feel like a lot of people don’t share my views,” Stewart said.

“Politics are obviously really polarizing, I would also say I’m ridiculed for some of the stuff I believe in. Ultimately it’s my decision and I’m not going to be swayed or influenced by others,” Hardy said.

Voting is an experience, no matter your political views, that is new to the students at Madison. Many seniors still aren’t able to vote due to age, but those who could chime in with their voting encounter.

“I did go and vote yesterday [March 10th]. It was really cool. I went with my twin brother. We went with our mom, and it was our first time going. It was just exciting to go. I mean we turned 18 a week and a half ago, and so the fact that we were able to just make the cut-off was a really cool experience,” Senior Megan Brugger said. 

“It was different than I thought it was going to be. It’s a lot simpler, like registering and everything,” Jessica Jensen said also.

Other Seniors had some inspiring and thought-provoking advice to those voting in the future.

“I think that in Madison, a lot of people aren’t politically engaged. They just kind of vote for whoever their friends are voting for, or who their parents are voting for, but I think that’s not good. You have to make a voice for yourself, so, you have to research the issues, you gotta find a candidate you support and you just gotta go for it. Don’t rely on anyone else,” Stewart said.