TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Election season in the U.S. can be some of the most pivotal moments in this country.
Idaho's elections during midterms can affect our day-to-day lives in drastic ways and showing the importance of voting is key to the democratic process working to its fullest. Presidential elections usually draw more significant voter turn out but Political Science Professor at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) and Chief Judge of precincts 15 and 16 Perri Gardner says midterms can count just as much as other elections.
“Today, there could be some races that are on this ballot that are quite tight and a lot with third-party challenges like in the governor’s race, our legislative races. You know turning out new people can really toss up the status quo. So, I think if you’re someone who usually doesn’t vote, your vote is extra important because you’re that missing element that could change status quo that has been existing,” Gardner said.
Gardner invites students from CSI class to join the election process as poll workers to learn more about our country's democratic process. One of those students is high school senior Emma Brulotte who says she recognizes the need for younger voters.
“Just seeing the demographic that has come out to vote, young people are vastly underrepresented, especially for how important their decisions are to the future of this country and our community. Community elections are often overlooked, but they often determine so much about our day-to-day lives,” Brulotte said.
Brulotte is in her first year of being eligible to vote and recognizes the value of every ballot. Local races are in need of higher voter turnout because these races define specifically how a state runs.
“Those couple of votes matter. Your vote definitely matters. It’s definitely taken into consideration in the scheme of things,” said Brulotte.
Gardner hopes the experience for her students shows them the importance of elections and wants everyone to do their part during midterms.
“There’s this thing going on in our brains that when we cast our ballot, we feel a sense of agency that gives us a sense of control over the world we live in and I think that is important too,” Gardner said