On Mar. 15, sometimes referred to as a second “Super Tuesday,” another round of primaries took place. States included were Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and our home state of North Carolina. The week before that, early voting was an option, available locally at the Apex Community Center. The rest of voters placed their votes on Tuesday at their local designated voting centers, also known as precincts. The winner from each party will face off in the general election in November.
This election year has been especially dramatic, and these results have had a big impact on the candidacy. In North Carolina, both parties had fairly close calls. On the Republican end, Donald Trump took the majority vote with twenty-nine delegates versus Ted Cruz’s twenty-seven. Marco Rubio has officially dropped out of the election after this round of losing. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders with a larger lead, fifty-nine to forty-five. Currently, Trump and Clinton both lead the primaries for their respective parties. By the looks of things, they will most likely be going head to head in November.
This was the first time voting for many students at Apex High School, and they were unsurprisingly excited to let their voices finally be heard. Many are very passionate about their political views, and they finally had the opportunity to make a difference. Not only eighteen year olds were allowed to vote in the primaries either. In North Carolina, seventeen year olds were allowed to vote if they will be eighteen by the presidential election on Nov. 8, a rule that many states have recently put into place. This has allowed for a much larger group of people to vote and possibly affect the outcome of the election, which has given younger politically engaged citizens more hope.
This change is not the only reform being called for when it comes to voting. Every year the lines at polls only grow as new voters come in, and political awareness grows. This has been a pain for many people who suffer through lines for hours just to cast one ballot. Even for early voting, the turnout was bigger than it has ever been before, 11% of North Carolina’s population showing up to submit their ballots early, explaining the huge lines and long waits to reach the voting booths. Because of this, many people skip out on voting altogether because they do not have the time or patience. If this trend continues, elections may not reflect the true view of the people. With the growth of technology it may be possible to find faster, more effective ways to get votes from citizens without waiting for hours in a line.
Collectively, this presidential election has the potential to be a turning point in the history of our country. Most of North Carolina’s voters gave their preferences at the polls, old and new, and only time will tell who will be elected as commander-in-chief.