Campaigning for the Future
November 9, 2022
For some, voting seems like a chore: having to miss work, leave their kids, wait in line, and vote. However, Voting is a privilege that you gain as an American citizen when you turn 18 years old that allows you to participate, and have an impact on the government.
“In the voting booth you have as much power as anybody in government,” Joe Cunningham’s communication manager, Heaven Hale said.
In South Carolina, the main candidates running in the midterm elections for governor are Henry McMaster, for a second term, and Joe Cunningham, who was previously South Carolina’s District 1 representative for the U.S. House.
“We want to really just give people more personal freedom. We’ve been very concerned with what we’ve seen. First with whats happening with abortion and how the government is trying to put itself in the middle of decision that ought to be private and each person should be able to make that decision with their partner, doctor, or themselves,” Hale said. “We also want to bring our economy into the future and make investments and clean energy protecting our coastline, bringing in new industry and new jobs that are going to pay well and be here for the long term.”
Being the Democratic candidate, Joe Cunningham is advocating eliminating the state income tax, legalizing marijuana and sports betting, and using that money to give teachers higher incomes. He is also advocating for fixing infrastructure like roads, and having the freedom to make personal health decisions without government interference.
Senior Faith Liu turned 18 in October, but registered to vote while she was still 17, as she planned on voting in the midterm election.
“I think there are a lot of big issues this election cycle, and I thought it was important to put my vote out there,” Liu said. “For the smaller positions I don’t really know who I would vote for but for governor, probably Joe Cunningham because a lot of his policies align with what I agree with, and then Annie Andrews as opposed to Nancy Mace.”
Henry McMaster’s team declined an interview, however his campaign argues for more conservative views as the Republican candidate in the election. McMaster advocates for pro-life including legislation that prohibits tax dollars from being used to fund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. He also advocates for more pro gun legislations, stricter immigration laws, lower tax rates, pro-growth policies in order to attract businesses and bring jobs, and put more money and resources into classrooms and with teachers.
“You may not agree with everything that Joe is saying he wants to do, everything he is trying to get passed, but he’s the candidate in this race who is looking out for your generation. He’s the one who’s going to make sure that you have the same rights that your mother did and the same rights that your grandmother did,” Hale said. “He’s the one who’s gonna make sure we are preserving our environment and our beaches and our natural resources so that your kids and your grandkids can enjoy them. He has a son who’s four years old,” Hale said. “He sees what’s happening in our schools and he sees the way that our teachers are being treated and the way that they are not valued and he sees this and his son is about to enter the public school system and so he’s gonna be living it… so with Joe you have somebody who knows what’s at stake, and knows what we need to do now to set your generation up for success and he’s gonna do that.”
AP U.S. History teacher, Constance Yaccarino, advises students to properly research every aspect of their ballot before voting.
“You kind of want to have some self reflection and know where you stand on certain things because you would want your candidate to reflect that or have an idea of just how far they’ll go on topics,” Yaccarino said. “So until you really think about those topics you might not know how you feel and you don’t have to make a decision on it but it can challenge you to reflect on what you might want out of a candidate that has to face votes on those topics.”
Doing the proper research on a candidate prior to voting will help ensure the vote you cast accurately reflects the actions you want to see taken in the government, following the elections.
“It’s really easy to get discouraged and feel like [voting] doesn’t matter. Even when you vote and even when your person wins sometimes, they can’t get done everything they want to…but giving up is worse than not giving up. If you just say ‘oh it doesn’t matter they’re not gonna do it anyway’ then things will never get better, but if you keep trying there’s a chance they’ll get better,” Hale said.
“The longer the line the better. If I’m gonna vote and I’m gonna wait in a line I’m gonna try and be mentally prepared for that, because that means that more people are voting and that’s a good thing,” Yaccarino said. “When people aren’t participating in politics, then it’s really the will of a few that is being documented in the election outcome so those things should be ignored and people should not be concerned with that.”
Certain things have been put in place to make the voting process easier, like early voting and absentee voting. These are beneficial especially for those who have jobs and children that may prevent them from having the time to go vote on November 8.
“If you’re eligible, make sure you’re registered and get your sticker, get your ‘I voted’ sticker,” Yaccarino said. “Show it off you know, tell people all about it. Take your picture. Share it on social media, and if you can, vote.”