Making A Difference- Even Under The Voting Age

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Written by: Lexi Fishe, Reporter

Election day is Nov. 3 and people all across the country, regardless of political party, are preparing for this day. Senior Alysa Tyler is an intern for the Kansas Democratic Party, working on the hotline and getting voting information from each county in Kansas to help voters. Her original project for Innovation Academy was to try and get more students involved in the voting process, but Tyler ran into some difficulties, such as a lack of need for volunteers, resulting in a change for her project. Tyler began talking to Megan Chandler, an attorney for the Kansas Democratic Party and director of voting protection, and began an internship with them.

“Politics has always been a huge factor in my life. It’s helped me decide on what I want to do in the future, and how I want to live my life. I know that I want to help people in the future, I want to highlight issues that are going on in our country. I want to force people to look at the facts and accept that these things are happening and they need to change. Even though I am not taking part in voting this year, I still want to make a difference in the country we live in today, Tyler said. 

Tyler grew up having two different families that have very different points of view and this had an impact on how she views politics. 

“When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) came around one side of my family could finally afford their medication, and it really improved the way they were able to live. But on my other side of the family, they could barely afford their insurance since their rates had gone up so high,” Tyler said. 

In June, a number of students posted a black square on their social media page to represent their support of the movement, Black Lives Matter. However, Tyler believes students need to do much more than a social media post.  

“Activism is more than just posting a black square or reposting cute graphics on your story. I feel like a lot of our peers really fail to show up when it comes to the issues that they are supposedly advocating for. I really want to drive home the fact of how important it is to vote. Voting is the only way to actually change things in our country. Your Canva graphic can’t create laws and the black square you posted doesn’t help it not happen again,” Tyler said. 

Tyler finds herself ‘center, learning left’ on her political beliefs, but believes both sides are guilty when it comes to assuming the worst about the other side. 

“I’m not the type of person who will just sit back and not speak up about what I believe in. I’m a very argumentative person, and I do enjoy debating with people, but as time goes on I do find it’s getting harder and harder to actually have a conversation with other people before it gets shut down with the usual rhetoric,” Tyler said. 

Tyler wants her fellow peers to recognize the importance of the younger generation going out to vote and how their voices still have an effect on society. 

“It’s given me a lot of hope for the future we can create. A lot of the younger generations have started going out to vote. I think that my peers are starting to see the importance of voting and how it can make or break America,” Tyler said.