History Teacher’s Thought on Election Day

Evelyn Rude, Staff Writer

With less than a month left, Election Day is just around the corner on Nov 3. The history teachers give the newspaper their reflections on the current politics that is happening.


Doug Graney, who teaches dual enrollment U.S. history and academic U.S. government, is planning to vote early before the election. His requirements for a candidate is someone with calm judgement, political and military experience, a sense of humor and with a sense of history. He has attended previous presidential candidate campaigns suchs as Pete Butigieg and Bernie Sanders. 


Earlier this year, Pete Butigieg was one of the presidential candidates who ran before he dropped out. He was the first candidate who was openly gay. Alongside him, this was Bernie Sanders’ second time running for president. In the 2016 presidential race, Sanders was very close to the Democratic presidential candidate, Hilary Clinton, but dropped out due to him not getting enough votes in the end. The same has happened with him and Joe Biden for the 2020 Presidential Election. 


All of the people who were running for the Democratic nominee, such as Butigieg and Sanders , have dropped out of the campaign leaving Joe Biden as the only one remaining. He was the vice president for President Barack Obama from 2008 to 2016. Biden’s main focus for voters are Gen Z and Millenials.


This year, 37% of Gen Z and Millenials will be accounted eligible to vote. Some seniors will be able to vote. With Covid-19, older voters would have to vote by mail or not at all if they want to vote in person. Compared to previous years, voters under the age of 30, barely went out to vote. In 2020, many young people have used social media and their voice to tell their peers to vote. Alot of it was due to reasons such as police protests that happened earlier back in spring and the spread of Covid-19 within the U.S. and how the current president dealt with it.


“I am ready for a change,” Graney said 


William Wilkin teaches the sophomore class and dual enrollment class for juniors. He has already voted by absentee ballot. Another history teacher was a spectator of Mr. Wilkin’s when he was filling out his ballot. Like Mr. Graney, Mr. Wilkin thinks it is interesting that there are candidates who are military veterans suchs as Aliscia Andrews running for U.S. Congress and Daniel Gade running for U.S. Senate. He finds it is interesting that it is not always national political issues that matter to voters.


The election for the Virginia Senate Election will be held on Nov 3. The candidates will be running for the spot of Mark Warner’s. Mark Warner, the Democratic senator of the state, is trying to run for his third term as Senate. Warner’s opponent is Daniel Gadehttps://gadeforvirginia.com/, the Republican candidate. The House of Senate has the power to pass laws by a ⅔ majority vote, conduct impeachmant trials, and protect the rights of individual states. Each state has different laws when it comes to topics such as gun control, marriage licensing, child custody, and planned parenthood.


“As Tip O’Neil famously said, ‘All politics is local,” Wilkin said.


Unlike the other teachers who are planning to vote early, Mr. Smialek is planning to vote on Nov. 3. He is the teacher for Ap Govt and also the department chair of the history department. He is not opposed to increasing the opportunity to vote beyond Election Day, but he does think the early voting opens too early on the calendar. When it comes to what he looks for within a candidate, he has different traits he looks for within local, state, and federal level. 


“I think it’s vital for people that can vote, to know the specifics of what they need to do to be able to exercise that civic duty,” Smialek said. 


There are three ways one can vote for the 2020 Presidential Election. One can vote with an absentee ballot, vote early in person, or vote on election day. Election day will be on Nov 3.