18-year-olds register to vote


Adrianna Burns-Plater stands for being allowed to vote at 18. Burns-Plater turns 18 on November 6, election day, and believes she owes it “for the generations after me. Every election matters.” Photo by Tyvon Smith

Tyvon Smith, In-Depth Editor

In March of 1971, the 26th Amendment was passed for eighteen-year-olds to be eligible to register to vote in America.

Omaha North senior, soon to be eighteen, Adrianna Burns-Plater is looking forward to voting in the next upcoming elections in Nebraska.

“I feel like it’s finally my chance to be able to make a decision in our government, I’ve always used my voice but this is different,” Burns-Plater said.

Burns-Plater is not only securing the satisfaction for her own vote of what she stands for, but also the position of being a role model to those younger than her and future eighteen-yearolds as herself.

“I feel like I owe it to the women and African Americans who protested for my right to vote, also for the generations after me,” Burns-Plater said.

In history class, Burns-Plater had always been interested in learning the politics of America.

“I always knew that having a Black president in office was a big deal,” BurnsPlater said.

It was not until 2016 that Burns-Plater took time to further her knowledge on the specifics of politics. With doing so, the research behind candidates are not narrowed just to logistics.

“I like to use social media to see what the candidates are doing for the community, to see their viewpoints, and who they stand by,” Burns-Plater said.

Many peers Burns-Plater surrounds herself with have some sort of interest in politics as well, that has taught her to be open in viewing both sides.

“There’s a few with different values and that’s okay as long as they’re respectful and have reasons behind their choices,” Burns-Plater said.

From here on out, every election matters to Burns-Plater.

“It’s like a little taste of adulthood and decision making,” Burns-Plater said.

In Elkhorn Public Schools, students have a similar viewpoint on voting like Burns-Plater.

Senior at Elkhorn South, Rachel Greufe, has developed an interest in politics through her beliefs having a purpose and matter.

“Being able to vote at eighteen means that I am able to express my thoughts about my city and country at an early age, and I feel that my beliefs matter,” Gruefe said.

Gruefe’s motivation for voting came from her parents.

“Although I am not as interested in politics as other students my age, my parents still swayed my opinion in the sense that is my responsibility to vote,” Gruefe said.

Gruefe mainly perceives candidates by how they are portrayed on social media.

“I know I shouldn’t get my facts from social media but it is difficult when this form of communication is at the center our lives,” Gruefe said.

When Gruefe initially views candidates in a negative light, it is hard for her to view them in a different light.

“I can’t help but think that they were portrayed that way because they are in fact a bad role model or leader,” Gruefe said.

Gruefe and many of her peers have the same viewpoint on voting. “I wish I was as excited to vote as many guys in my grade, but unfortunately the girls and I don’t put as much effort into voting as we should,” Gruefe said.

In fact, in Omaha, according to the U.S. Census, it is found that the ratio between men and women votes are even.

Gruefe and believes those around her are willing to vote for local things such as
school board or state legisture.

“I think we feel that our vote won’t make a difference in something as large as Presidential voting poll,” Gruefe said.