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Young Voters: What Camas is Looking For


Leading up to Nov of this year, voters of all ages will be looking for different criteria when selecting a candidate to vote for in the presidential election. Young voters especially tend to be geared more toward environmental problems, foreign affairs and human rights issues, as shown in a poll distributed this spring by the Harvard Institute of Politics. 

At Camas High School (CHS), many students and staff are very politically minded and take specific concerns with issues appearing in campaigns this year.

Photo Courtesy, Harvard IOP Youth Poll Spring 2024

“Reproductive rights must be taken extremely seriously because that affects so many people,” CHS junior Cya Cook said. 

Issues like reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights and women’s rights, have been at the forefront of voter concern over the last few decades and have polarized voters, especially since events like the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 which changed access to abortion and reproductive healthcare. 

“The Israel-Palestine conflict is really important because there’s so much social media presence on it and so many issues surrounding it… I think that getting people the resources that they need is really vital,” Cook said. 

Many young voters are concerned with the Israel-Palestine conflict. On a national scale, most are in favor of a permanent ceasefire. 

Foreign conflicts such as these concern many students for many different reasons. Military affairs can be very important to some students, especially those planning to go into the US Armed Forces. Senior Remington Ruark is going into Marine Corps basic training this summer and will become an aviation engineer/mechanic, and military affairs are his main concern in politics. 

“Military spending, deployments- if I’m told to go somewhere, I legally have to go,” Ruark said. “Inactivity in conflicts is also make or break for me.”

Federal politics isn’t the only field of concern. Local politics, too, greatly affect many of these issues, especially environmental. 

“For Camas, we should be concerned about our well water, and the PFAS chemicals that have shown up in them, and take an active and engaged role in finding out how to get rid of them,” AP Environmental Science teacher Jennifer Roberts said. 

Many, including Roberts, find it vital to be environmentally conscious when voting in any level of election. 

“Vote for people who aren’t going to repeal 100 environmental laws in their first week of office,” Roberts said. “When [a candidate is] being funded by a certain organization, and they’re not caring about future generations, who you vote for makes a difference. Especially when it’s close, which it might be again.”

With all these issues to consider, it can seem daunting to cast a vote.  

“It’s difficult to pick a candidate- maybe one candidate supports one part of my ideals, and another supports another part,” Cook said. “I think overall it should come down to their morals, their ethics, how they view what people actually go through, and how that plays out within their policies.”

Seeing the connections between the issues you’re concerned about and how the candidates apply those to their actions in office is the most important part. However, it’s important not to get hung up on making sure your views match with every single aspect of a candidate’s campaign. 

“Voting for a candidate is like picking a college… are you going to have every single piece of information about that college compared to other colleges? You’re going to have some information, and you have to make a decision,” Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said. 

The election this year will be polarizing for many. All these issues and more are important to voters this year, and as the election season continues, many of these issues may come even more to the forefront of voters’ minds. Even with the abundance of information available to voters and the abundance of issues affecting US politics, it comes down to the issues voters prioritize the most.

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Arielle Greenstone
Arielle Greenstone, Copy Editor

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