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Note: In an effort to boost voter turnout in Windham County, the Windham County Democratic Committee (WCDC) is inviting students who are not old enough to vote to participate in this year’s election by voicing the concerns and issues that they want voters to consider when casting ballots. Entitled #VoteForMe, the project invites students to submit letters to the editor of their local papers or post 1-minute videos on Facebook or Instagram encouraging those who receive ballots to exercise their right to vote.

I am 16 years old so I am not allowed to vote yet, but if you are eligible to vote, you should, and please do. The world asks you to vote for a reason, you and your voice matter. Silence will not create change, please vote and make it count. If you think your vote doesn’t matter, think of it as donations to someone who is sick. Even giving 25 cents is much better than not doing anything at all. Even though it is a small amount, it will make a big impact later! Your vote is the money, in this case, you will be making a big impact on the future. You have a voice, use it, and make it heard. Even if you are not 18 and not allowed to vote yet, you can still make a huge impact on our future. Talk to people, learn and educate yourself, and keep using your voice. It is meant to be heard. If you are silent you won’t be heard, if you vote, you are heard. It is a privilege to vote, if you want to change, make it happen! You can’t trust everyone around you to make the change for you. We need your vote! I want to change our world and you all can help, please use your voice and make the change we all need in this country and elect democrats this November.

Chloe Givens

Brattleboro Union High School, Sept. 9

Before we encourage someone to vote blue this November it is important for us to understand the premise of this promising way of looking at politics. The Democratic Party emphasizes the importance of our environment, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, gun control, a liveable wage, and equality on all bases. Picture a world where we all elect democrats. The rainforests would not be empty with stumps but, thriving with diverse groups of species. Our glaciers in the North would be untouched, families would not be working two jobs but instead, they would be employed in a place where they received a liveable wage. Students would walk the halls confidently knowing that our government was controlling the laws around guns and keeping us safe.

Sadly, the people in these states do not wake up to a world of blue but a world of conflicting ideologies. Right now, families are working two to three jobs, temperatures are reaching record-breaking heights, children at the borders of Mexico are living in metal cages, and the well being and rights of the American people are at risk every day. The power in the White House has been abused in a way that has allowed thousands to lose their jobs, hundreds of thousands have died due to the poor management of a global virus, and millions are scared for their health and the well being of their families.

Currently, the Republican Party is not representative of the wisdom and morals that make this diverse country so beautiful. The United States has the possibility of being a country that not only has the best interests of its people but to also lead on a global scale. Vote in the voting booth, by mail, if not for yourself but, for the environment, for women, minorities, children at the border, and the working class. In today’s society, there is no room for being selfish and the democratic community is considerate, empathetic, and cares for everyone in our society.

So, why would anyone put up with such a red and catastrophic man? The people of the United States have lost hope in the government and the concept of democracy. For far too long the Senate and Congress have stood by and watched our president destroy all of what this country is worth. We need to do more than voting the man out himself. Sitting in the seats of the Senate and House of Representatives needs to be democrats who grasp not only a complex understanding of politics but have basic morals that they live by. We as a nation need to set aside our differences and vote for Democrats down the ballot. We need healthcare. We need reasonable gun control. We need to protect our environment. Above all, we need to protect the

people of our country from a corruptive government. This November you have the power and the privilege to vote. So please, vote!

Sophia Mikijaniec

Brattleboro Union High School

Living under the political pressure of the past four years and the immense social momentum of these last six months, I want more than anything to be able to cast my vote for this year’s November 3 election. I have been incredibly active both at Black Lives Matter and police brutality protests as well as on social media, providing bail funds as well as other resources on how to donate to several organizations, and BIPOC. Even as engaged as I tried to be during this pandemic, unfortunately, like many of the youth and biggest advocates for social change of this time, I will not be old enough to vote in this election cycle. This fall election is so essential in having all of the social issues we have been fighting for actually addressed. It is our political system and the people we elect that can bring real change and it is more essential now more than ever that we elect candidates that will listen to the cry for social change that is burning through the heart of our nation right now. I am deeply inspired by my generation and the amount of initiative being taken, but as a generation that is largely not old enough to vote, we are relying on older generations to get out and vote for us and our future.

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As someone who cares so deeply for my future, the future of our country as well as for the minorities being affected daily by the legislation being put in place by our current President and Congress. I implore that everyone who can vote right now needs to regardless of which political party you affiliate with. Today in our country projections from the United States Election Project (Levine, Daniel S.) say that out of 231,556,622 Americans are eligible to vote, only 138 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election. That means that only 58.1% of eligible voters are voting (“Library Guides: Post-Election 2016 Recap & Resources: Voter Turnout.”). I think I speak for most of my generations, both liberal and conservative alike when I say “cast your ballot!” In a time when we as a country are so divided with our beliefs, are under the immense tragedy of a worldwide pandemic, in an economic recession, facing natural disasters such as the wildfires in California and imposing hurricanes, not to mention social justice issues that are coming to a head such as police brutality and BLM we need more than ever the power of every eligible voter. Your opinion matters and without every vote how is our legislation supposed to accurately and effectively govern its people in this time of great uncertainty? We need each and every voice so that our choices as the American populace is heard not as a select group who decided to vote but as the true voice of the people in all the forms that it takes, fighting towards a feature for everyone.

Tula Campman

Putney School

There isn’t just one simple answer to why people should vote for Democrats. Healthcare is a major reason. Democrats agree that the government needs to do more to help Americans pay for health care and prescription drugs. Some also believe what’s achievable is up for debate. Secondly, climate change. Democrats realize climate change is a huge problem, and that humans contribute. Their ways to deal with climate change include a Green New Deal to radically change the US economy. Next, inequality is brought up. Democrats want to address inequality by providing free tuition at public colleges/ universities. Also, free child care by taxing the wealthiest Americans. There are other plans but most democrats believe the Trump tax cuts should be revoked. Lastly, many Democrats believe there should be more restrictions on gun control laws. There are many more reasons why you should be an advocate and supporter of democracy this fall and vote for Democrats on the ballot.

Maddie Johnson

Brattleboro Union High School

I am not old enough to vote in the fall election, but like many other young people, I am counting on those who can turn out on November 3rd at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history. My generation has grown up in an unstable political environment. We are surrounded by the constant fear of school shootings, police brutality, and a global pandemic. We cannot vote for the change that we know is desperately needed.

I grew up in Brattleboro Vermont. I was nine years old when I first became interested in politics during the 2012 election cycle. At age nine I did not have my own belief system. However, I was fascinated by the debates in which candidates, with contradicting ideologies, would get up on stage and diplomatically argue their opinions. In 2016 I once again followed the election process. My family would preach the importance of universal healthcare, abortion rights, and climate change action. So at age thirteen, I began to be interested in the issues discussed as well as the process. In 2017 I was privileged to serve as a Vermont legislative page. This was concurrent with the tragic Parkland shootings. I observed first hand how our state government responded to the Parkland tragedy with historic gun legislation. This has led me to believe that the government has the ability to find solutions to our most challenging societal issues.

Today we are experiencing a crisis of failed leadership in the United States. The Trump administration has done a horrific job of nationally mitigating the COVID-19 crisis. Millions of Americans are out of work or living in poverty due to the president’s incompetence. We cannot as a country afford another four years of this. Personally, I will be affected when I return to Brattleboro Union High School. Our public schools are scrambling to find the resources to safely return students with hybrid learning in the fall. The Trump administration promises to cut education funding if re-elected. This can not happen. How will schools be able to prevent students from slipping through the cracks if we continue to cut funding for education?

I strongly believe that new democratic leadership can and will help our nation address these pressing issues. I cannot express the importance of this election enough. I ask Windham County voters to vote for Democrats on November 3rd and do their part to fight for the future of our country.

Lily Charkey

Brattleboro Union High School