By Oscar Wolfe
I often find myself frustrated come election time. Teachers, parents, any adult with authority will tell teens to get involved, but they rarely say how. Obviously, none of us can vote. But, despite this, I have found three legitimate ways to participate in an election without voting.
Volunteer. The reason I feel compelled to volunteer in elections is because it seems that teens are often overlooked when it comes to government, especially elections. This is obviously because we don’t get a vote. Volunteering is a way for me to still make a very real difference within the rules. If I can’t vote, then I can try to get those who do vote to vote for who I would vote for.
I’ve been volunteering with the Dean Phillips for Congress campaign. I’ve done simple things like just putting together yard signs, but I’ve also gotten the chance to speak directly to the candidate about issues I think are important to teens, like gun control, mental health, and safe schools. I feel like I’m making a difference and I know my voice has been heard. Plus, it’s pretty cool to think that a future United States Representative knows my name.
Get Educated. Despite what a lot of adults might think, I read and watch the news. I try to keep up on issues so that if I meet an adult who hasn’t decided who to vote for, I can share my knowledge. However, one thing that I’ve realized is that the vast majority of adults really only pay attention to a couple news stations. Whether it’s CNN, FOX, or something completely different, they get all of their information from one news source. That’s why I make a conscious effort to pay attention to multiple news sources. It’s really easy to do but it makes a big difference. For starters, I receive notifications on my phone from several major news outlets. This way, I can get all sides of the story, not the same one every time.
Urge adults to vote. Just simply reminding adults to vote can make a difference. Don’t forget: the election is Nov. 6!