Moore County Seniors Rock the Vote
With the May 6 primary quickly approaching, and the democratic nominee still undecided, North Carolina's youth voters are becoming increasingly more important in the outcome of this year's election season.
It is well-known that Barack Obama and his popular rhetoric have appealed to America's youth culture, but have they had the same effect on the youth in Moore County?
With John McCain as the only plausible outlet for Republican voters, will our youngest voters be willing to support him despite his old-school persona? And as Hillary Clinton makes a play for Carolina voters, will the youth vote give her the edge she needs to beat Obama?
In the past few months, the Moore County Board of Elections has come to each area high school and registered 17- and 18-year-olds to vote. Every student who signed up received a letter from Glenda M. Clendenin, director of the Moore County Board of Elections.
The letter explained what to expect during the voting process and included a sample ballot so there will be no surprises on voting day. Clendenin hopes that providing newly registered voters with this information will help make the process more understandable.
According to the Board of Elections, of the 207 students ages 17 and 18 registered in Moore County, 54 are registered as Democrats, 75 are registered as Republicans, and 78 registered as unaffiliated.
North Moore High School had the largest turnout with 70 students registering. Union Pines came in second with 67 registered voters and Pinecrest was third with 56 students. The O'Neal School has 23 registered students and Sandhills Community College added 14 new voters to the grand total.
According to the Moore County Board of Elections, this year's turnout seemed somewhat higher than that of past years.
With increasing hype and political advertisements, what exactly are the students actually saying about their new place in the political arena? Pinecrest senior Jennifer Miller is a potential Obama supporter. However, Miller sees Obama as more of a last resort.
"I don't like any of them," says Miller. "I've had a long-standing hatred for Hillary [Clinton] since Bill Clinton was in office. My hatred for Hillary has been ingrained in me just by watching how she handles things. I know all politicians lie, but sometimes she lies when she just doesn't need to."
Another Pinecrest senior, Miranda Davis, also has been disappointed in her choice of candidates. Her top choices have not survived the primaries, but she will likely vote for McCain.
"He's the lesser of all the evils," Davis says. "Each day I like him more. I like what he's said about the housing crisis. Unlike the Democrats, if you're good with your own finances, you shouldn't have to pay for other people's faults through taxes."
New voter Patrick Sessoms agrees with Davis' views on the election.
"McCain is the best defender of our current democracy, whereas Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are advocates of socialist policies," Sessoms says.
According to the statistics, unaffiliated voters are the majority among the newest Moore County voters, and as it has been said throughout the primaries, independent voters are the ones who may ultimately decide this election.
Lauren Little is a senior at Pinecrest High School and is a staff writer for The Word.
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