Park City High School students closely following presidential election |

Park City High School students closely following presidential election

Park City School District.
Park Record file photo

All eyes are on the national stage as the impending presidential election is days away.

Park City High School fosters a community of different political views with many students closely following this high-stakes election even though only a small percentage of seniors are able to vote.

Leading up to Election Day on Tuesday, students expressed a range of opinions about the contest.

One student eager to see the outcome is Jonathan Mount. He voted in the election because he believes that elections affect everybody.

“It’s a little bit stressful, thinking about how influential the whole election is,” Mount said. “It’s a lot, just like this year has been.”

The election has even earned the attention of students who don’t usually follow politics, such as senior Lexie Hudgens, who felt it was important to cast a ballot. She voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

“I think people who don’t vote are selfish because the results of the election will affect everyone in some way, even if it’s not major,” she said.

“Although it might not affect me specifically right now, it potentially could, in the long run, depending on who wins,” Hudgens added.

While Mount and Hudgens were able to vote, there is a large percentage of the student body that isn’t able to. For many of those students, clubs at the school provide a forum to voice their political opinions.

The PCHS chapter of Turning Point USA, a right-leaning group that aims to promote conservative ideas among young people, is one such club. Another is the school’s March For Our Lives club, which is a student-led demonstration group in support of legislation to prevent gun violence.

Senior Lance Rothchild has many strong views on the election. Although he is unable to vote this year, he has major concerns.

“I’m really worried about this election,” said Rothchild, who added that he would vote for Biden and Harris. “I worry this is a critical election, especially because we have to ensure the results of the election are respected, because there may not be a peaceful transfer of power.”

Rothchild’s biggest concern is the possible effects the election may have in the future for him and others.

“Climate change will definitely affect our generation,” he said. “But separate from that is minority rights, women’s rights, and LGBTQ-plus rights that affect everybody.”

Max O’Reilly is another student at PCHS who cannot vote this year. He said it is frustrating not to have a say in the outcome.

“As someone who can’t vote, I’m just trying to get used to the idea that I have little to no control over what happens in the election, and that I shouldn’t let the results of it overly harm my actions and feelings,” O’Reilly said.

This range of emotions at PCHS is representative of the stakes of election. As the ballots are cast, students have expressed stress and worry about the outcome.

And some, like O’Reilly, are eager for it all to be over.

“I truly just cannot wait for it to be over — COVID has made it a nightmare with the battle of in-person voting versus mail-in ballots, the debates have been an absolute mess, and the Biden versus Trump dynamic has created a generally toxic environment,” he said.

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