What Young Voters Need to Know About D.C.

By: Hayley Baker
OwlFeed Journalist

Washington D.C. can be a big scary place to some, especially for those who will be voting next election. In the past midterm election there was the highest young voter turnout ever for a midterm election, and that is, as our president would say, “HUGE.”

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Photo Credit: Lauren Mitchell

For us young voters, we often feel overwhelmed about who to pay attention to, what to pay attention to, and if our elected officials are doing what they say they are doing.

I spoke to two students and future voters at our school, Sarah Niezgodski and Kyla Heller. I asked them both about if they have any skepticisms they might have about Washington. Kyla, who is enlisted in the Navy, said that there is nothing that she is skeptical about and that she has “a good idea of what goes on and trusts our elected officials.”

Sarah, on the other hand, said that she “skeptical if our representatives are getting done everything that they say they are.” She also said, “Being in AP Gov has taught me that representatives are always in campaign mode, so how can they focus on both?”

Sarah also said that she considers herself to be more liberal on the party scale, whereas her parents lean a little bit more to the right. Having parents with different political views can be tough.

I took it upon myself to ask someone who works, lives and can be considered quite important some questions about their life in Washington D.C to try and see what we as young voters can learn about what really goes on.

Debbie Lesko won over Arizona’s 8th district in the special election that happened in 2018, beating her opponent Hiral Tipirneni, then again a few months later in the November midterm election.

One of the first questions I asked Lesko related back to Sarah’s concerns about how to break away from your parent’s political views. “Find or start a club at your school, get involved in your community. If you don’t know what political direction to head in, those things should help,” Lesko said.

Being a young voter myself, I am often skeptical of what exactly is happening and if the job is getting done. “I work really hard to reach out to my constituents to take in their concerns and inform them on what I’m working towards. My constituents are my number one priority,” Lesko responded.

With that being said, I also asked if she votes on bills in the House based off of her own beliefs or her constituents. “Both, the people in my district voted for me because they share my beliefs,” she said.

Lesko also talked a bit about her daily life in D.C. She wakes up in the morning and is in meetings all day normally from 8 AM to 8 PM. “It’s very stressful but I love it, it’s the best job in the world,” Lesko said.

It may seem at times that with everything happening that the thoughts and opinions of young voters get put on the back burner, but our reps and senators are listening. From what we learned it seems like being a rep in D.C. can be a lot, but they do pay attention to us “normal people” and don’t go off of their own agenda.