WHO’S WHO IN FLORIDA PRIMARIES

Students+at+Seminole+High+School+over+the+age+of+eighteen+will+have+the+opportunity+to+vote+in+this+year%27s+primaries.+
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WHO’S WHO IN FLORIDA PRIMARIES

Students at Seminole High School over the age of eighteen will have the opportunity to vote in this year's primaries.

Students at Seminole High School over the age of eighteen will have the opportunity to vote in this year's primaries.

McKayla Pilla

Students at Seminole High School over the age of eighteen will have the opportunity to vote in this year's primaries.

McKayla Pilla

McKayla Pilla

Students at Seminole High School over the age of eighteen will have the opportunity to vote in this year's primaries.

Malavika Kannan, Reporter

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Florida’s primary elections will be held on March 15th, and both Democrats and Republicans will vote to select the candidate that will represent them in the national election. Students over the age of 18 at Seminole High School will have the opportunity to participate in this process, making it vital that they are informed in making their decisions.

“If students are informed now, when they are voting, they will be informed when the effects of their votes come back to them,” says junior Jimmy Qin.

As of the recent Iowa and  New Hampshire primaries, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders are vying for Democratic nominations. Leading the polls in the Republican party are businessman Donald Trump and Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Floridian votes, including those of students at SHS, could prove to be very  important to the presidential election. Florida holds 29 seats in the electoral college, making it a sought-after state by Democratic and Republican candidates alike due to its reputation as a swing state. Voting teenagers may have an important effect on which way Florida swings this year.

“We are lucky enough to live in a country where people can vote, and we have the opportunity to educate ourselves about our government, our future,” says senior Nicole Wills, the president of SHS’s Young Politicians club.

The five major candidates have different views on the issues of gun control, abortion, minimum wage, same-sex marriage, immigration, and more all issues which may directly affect the student body of Seminole High School.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also served as a senator and First Lady. A well-known Democrat, Clinton takes liberal stands on the aforementioned issues. Clinton favors gun control and believes that women should have the right to abort. She also wants to raise the minimum wage to $12 dollars, in addition to supporting same-sex marriage.

“I support Clinton because I agree with her political views. She’s the most centrist candidate, and therefore alienates the less people. I also find her experienced and intelligent,” says Qin.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, can be described as a progressive, socialist Democrat who has garnered much support among the younger generation of voters. Sanders has urged high school students to argue with their teachers and parents in the past. Another topic of interest to students of SHS is Sanders’ belief that college should be made free, as well as that the minimum wage should be raised to $15. Sanders generally holds more liberal views on issues than Clinton.

“I think Sanders is the only genuine candidate,” says junior Samuel Kibble. “While some of his propositions are less than feasible, I find that his ideas about free college education is very reasonable with reorganization of spending, especially [that of] the military.”

Wills adds, “He’s socially liberal, like me, and I think that some of his more liberal policies might make it through Congress.”

The GOP has a much greater number of candidates running, but only three have consistently topped the polls in recent weeks: Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz.

Businessman and Donald Trump is leading the Republican party as of the New Hampshire primaries. Trump’s more sensational suggestions include building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to ward off illegal immigrants (whom he has denounced as “rapists” and “criminals”), as well as banning 1.3 billion Muslims from entering the country. On same-sex marriage, Trump opposes the federal legalization and believes that marriage is solely between a man and a woman.  

However, Trump’s lack of political correctness is viewed positively by many Republicans, like sophomore Robert Casanova. “He is not easily bought. People are misinformed about him, although he might come off as blatantly rude, he has a lot of substance in his reform ideas. You can criticize his elementary rhetoric, but he’s trying to appeal to common people. He’s not a racist or a xenophobe,” he says.

Texas senator Ted Cruz has floated between second and third place. Although he has been under fire in the past for his Canadian birth, Cruz is indeed eligible to run for president. Although Cruz holds arguably more moderate views than his competitor Trump, he too wants to deport illegal immigrants and opposes gay marriage. He strongly believes against Common Core, so if elected, Cruz could greatly change education at SHS.

“I agree with Cruz’s tax plans. Especially because he has the credibility, as senator of Texas, to enforce immigration,” says Casanova.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, shares many conservative viewpoints with the others. However, he holds a more liberal view on immigration, having outlined a plan to get a legal status for undocumented immigrants after the border is secured. While Rubio, like Trump, does not personally support same-sex marriage, he believes that the Constitution should be upheld; and like most Republicans, he opposes abortions.

Young adults’ votes are important to the turnout of the primaries, yet in 2012, only 45% of American young adults (ages 18-29) voted in the general election. Whether they vote Republican or Democrat, it is important that youth, including the students of Seminole High School, use their right to have a say in their future by making an informed vote.

 

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