Student Voting Rights at Risk

By Arielle Swinehart

Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State, doesn’t believe you have a right to vote in this primary if you are seventeen, even if you will be eighteen by the general election.

In the past, seventeen-year-olds, that will be eighteen by the general election, were able to vote in presidential primaries in Ohio. Husted is now “interpreting” the law differently. He claims that the primary is about electing delegates, which is not allowed by Ohio law, and not nominating a candidate, which is allowed by Ohio law.

Seventeen-year-olds at Whetstone High School completely disagree.

“I think if someone is going to be voting in the general election they should be able to vote in the primaries or else it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because they are voting for candidates they didn’t have a say in. I think it’s only logical that people are able to vote for both parts,” Christian Schumacher, age seventeen, said.

“I think that it’s abhorrent, and I am one of the nine plaintiffs who are suing Jon Husted in this case. I signed an affidavit and an official complaint that were both filed on Monday. It is basically saying that Jon Husted’s manual for voting is against the Ohio legislation and there will be a hearing on Friday at 1:30 where we will be randomly assigned a judge and he or she will make the decision about our lawsuit,” Rachel Schwerdtfeger, age seventeen, said.

“I think that seventeen-year-olds who will be eighteen by the election should have the ability to pick who they want to be elected in the primary because that will basically be who they want to be president,” Ethan Evans, age seventeen, said.

Seventeen-year-olds are angry with Jon Husted, and they have a right to be. In every other election, Ohio seventeen year olds were able to vote in the primaries. So the question that has to be asked is why now? Why is Ohio law suddenly being interpreted differently than in past years?

Could it be the fact that Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton eighty-four percent to fourteen percent among democrats age seventeen to twenty-nine, according to the Iowa entrance poll? Could it be that Sanders has been labeled the favored candidate of youth nationwide?

Are you angry? Do you feel your right has been stolen from you? Do you care about the future of this country and whose hands it falls into? Come to the Fight for Our Right Student Protest on Friday March 11. The protest will be held at 180 E. Broad St. from 4 pm. to 5 pm.

Fight for your right.


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