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To vote or not to vote

Election day is fast approaching on November 6, and some students plan to vote when that time comes around. Erick Andre, senior,  is one of  those students that will vote when it’s time to step up to the polls.

“What I think about voting is it’s very important for all our citizens to do,” Andre said. Teacher  and city commissioner, Justin Troller, also believes it is important to vote.

“I think it’s very important,” Troller said. “I think it’s our most important duty as an American. It was the basics [on] which our government was formed.”

The Republican primary elections are already taking place, in which Republicans only are allowed to help select the candidate who will run against President Barack Obama.

According to the United States Election Project, voter turnout has been on a steady increase since 2000. In 2000, just 48 percent of voters turned out to vote, but that increased to 57 percent in the 2008 election. According to the Polk County Elections Supervisor, Polk has more than 332,000 registered voters, some of whom vote early. But Andre won’t be one of those who vote early. ”I will vote on voting day,” Andre said.

Andre also believes that it is important to vote. “ If not a lot of people don’t vote, we might get a bad President in office,” Andre added.

Not all people think that voting is important. “I think it’s pointless, politicians are idiots!” Lakeland senior Jared McCain said. Lakeland junior, Shelby Calise, says she questions those she’s voting for.

“I think it’s a waste of time because your picking someone who may or may not do what they say,” Calise said. Even though she feels that way, she still thinks it’s important and will vote on voting day at the polls.

“I guess it’s important to vote because if we don’t vote we have no leader,” Calise said.

In the past, the school has brought election representatives on campus to help register students who reach the age to vote. which is 18. This year officials will return to the campus to hand out and collect voter registration forms right before Spring Break. Students have the opportunity  to also fill out a voter registration form online at, at their local library or when they get their driver’s license.

Troller added that the only difference is that teachers are not allowed to collect the forms anymore.

Students and other eligible voters must be 18 years old and registered. Florida law requires voters to vote in their home precinct, which can be found on their voter registration card. When in doubt, contact the Polk County Elections Supervisor or visit for more information.

Slider graphic created by Benny Morales and Andrew Lawton