Chelsey Severson | Osseo WI
I live outside of Osseo, in the country. My dad, John, is a prison guard at Stanley and my mom, Tina, is an office manager at Pigeon Creek Hardwoods. My parents have always encouraged me to have my own opinions on everything. They would never force an opinion on me or force a certain view on me. They encourage me to open my mind and see all the points of view and form my own opinions.
During high school, I took advanced placement P U.S. history and U.S. government and politics. Both were really interesting classes. I love history, and that really grew my love for politics. Learning what happened with government throughout history, how it works, all the different systems of government, all that goes into it and its complexity is fascinating. What we see isn’t all of it; there’s so much going on behind the scenes.
I liked politics when I was younger, too. I read about the presidents and did reports on them whenever I got the chance. My parents encouraged me to keep reading.
I recently turned 18, so I’m not extremely familiar with the voting process. I’d rather vote in person just so I don’t make any mistakes or do anything wrong; I want to make sure my vote is counted.
At my local voting place, I know the workers. I’m familiar with them, or my parents know them,, and they know me. A couple of years ago, my dad took me with him to vote. It wasn’t a presidential election, but I was able to go and watch the process and see it happen. In our voting district, there’s not a large population, so it won’t be extremely busy on election day. The workers won’t be overwhelmed, and they’ll be able to help me if I need help.
In today’s elections the campaigns use so much technology and social media. You turn on the TV and there are ads for a certain candidate —they’re even on your phone. There are ads everywhere on television, and the debates are televised. Candidates are tweeting constantly and posting images for their voters or their followers to look at. You get a much more in-depth view of the candidate — you can see so much more about them than you could in the past. Candidates can’t really hide from you, in both good and bad ways.
Right now, I’m writing a research report on the electoral college,taking the position that the electoral college does not serve democracy. That position stems from one of my AP classes because we had an assignment where we had to form our own political parties. We created a name, a certain image, and the main points of a party. One of my points involved using the popular vote to elect a president versus the electoral college.
Many of the 18-year-olds I know have decided who they’re voting for, and they’re pretty passionate about their candidate. Everyone’s pretty excited for the election because the people I know are all voting for the first time. That excitement is everywhere. For me, it might be a little bit higher just because I’m so passionate about elections and politics.
By voting, you’re having yourself represented within government, through the officials that you vote for and are elected. Really, everyone should be excited: Voting is such a good thing.
This story was produced by Scott Schultz and is part of our new voter series. The new voter series was funded by the ‘Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation’ initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.