Election Day draws out LHS students

Lawrence High seniors vote and get involved on election day


Tony Racy

A sign directs voters to a polling location near HyVee off Kasold Drive on election day.

By Nadia Sanburn and Tony Racy

Many Lawrence High students engaged civically and voted for the first time today. 

The highly-contentious presidential election also features an unusually close Kansas Senate race between Republican Roger Marshall and Democrat Barbara Bollier.

Among the first-time voters was senior Erin Doyle, who was one of the record number of Americans to vote before election day.

“The physical act of voting was pretty boring,” Doyle said. “I went to the courthouse a week or two before the election and was in and out in less than 10 minutes. But it was still exciting to be a part of this election given how important it is and the implications of an incumbent victory.”

Senior Alaina Payne voted on Tuesday.

“It’s important to vote because that’s the best way to get your voice heard,” Payne said. “If you don’t vote then there’s no way anyone can know what you want. The result of the election just shows how the future of our country will be as well as my future.”

While still too young to vote, junior Kenna McNally signed up as an election worker at a voting site.

I’ve been in charge of provisional ballots, which is when people can’t have a normal one, like if they change their address or some of the people we haven’t been able to find in the system or if they had an advance ballot and they didn’t vote with it, they have to vote provisionally,” McNally said. “That way they can make sure that they don’t try to vote twice.”

While most students are too young to vote they are still watching from the sidelines.

“It’s definitely difficult not being able to do anything,” sophomore Olive Long said. “And I think that goes for most people my age. I would love to be able and do my part for our country, and I think many kids under 18 would.”

Long, like several classmates, said this specific election will have a large impact.

“This election determines the fate for people everywhere,” Long said. “Women, LGBTQ+, POC, especially POC women. This election determines what happens to America as a whole. If you don’t believe that, put yourself in someone else’s shoes and do some research.” 

Sophomore Katherine Price also stressed how important this election was for the future.

“The result of the election will dictate the future of the country and possibly the world, which is very nerve wracking,” she said. 

Some students fear for the aftermath of the election.

“No matter what happens or who wins, something bad or detrimental will come out of it,” Long said. “Either people rioting because their candidate wasn’t elected or Trump refusing to leave office. If one certain party wins, I’m worried as a female and as an ally to certain communities.”

Doyle echoed those concerns.

“I will be really devastated if Trump is re-elected,” she said. “I tend to be a pretty optimistic person, but it would be extremely difficult for me to feel hopeful for an America that’s willing to give him another term in office.”

Regardless, students will look back at the historical importance this election has.

“I haven’t been alive for that long so this doesn’t say much, but this really feels like the most important election of any of our lifetimes,” Doyle said.

Arien Roman Rojas, Olive Harrington, Mariana Profeti and Tessa Collar contributed to this report.