Students prepare for election

Binqi Chen, Co-Editor in Chief

Although it is not a presidential election year, voters in Virginia will still be able to cast an important vote this November 7. The 2017 gubernatorial elections for Virginia is held every four years. This election season, the race will be narrowed down between the Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and former Republican Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.

AHS juniors and seniors who have turned or will turn 18 years-old on election day will be able to cast their first votes if they are registered. Some have already taken this step.

“I registered in September because I wanted to have a say in who runs our countries and regions,” senior Michelle Akl said.

Both candidates in the race have gathered support from other political figures. Former President George W. Bush and current Vice President Mike Pence have expressed their support for Gillespie. On the Democratic Party’s side, both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden have backed Northam.
This election will also be former President Barack Obama’s first campaign appearance since leaving office.

“I have been following the election since the beginning because I would like to study political science in the future,” senior Amanda Luna said. “Everyone should be informed of their local political events to know how any changes could affect their lives.”

Luna will not be able to vote on Election Day, but she has thrown her support behind Northam. Previously, Luna had applied to and accepted into an internship called “Let America Vote.” However, due to overwhelming school responsibilities, Luna decided to pass up on the opportunity.

“Campaigning takes a lot of dedication and would have cut too much into my school time,” Luna said. “If there are any other available chances to volunteer, I would take it in a heartbeat.”

Even if a student is not old enough to vote yet, they can still help out at their local voting centers for even at their local government centers. During previous elections, teenage volunteers have been given the responsibilities of helping voters check in and obtaining information about which section they were assigned to for voting. Students can also volunteer now for their candidate’s local campaign offices.

“We also handed out ‘I Voted’ stickers to people as well as counting the number of parking spaces and just making sure everything was safe,” senior Ingrid Guardado-Cruz said.