Phone banking and polling stations: students get involved in the election

Leah Zerwitz

With the upcoming presidential election, many Wilson students under the age of 18 have wondered how they could participate in the political process without voting. In recent months, teenagers across the country have found ways to volunteer for political campaigns, particularly relating to the presidential race. 

Some students have participated in “phone banking,” which involves making calls to supporters to help build the volunteer corps and to undecided voters to secure their support. Sophomore Talia Ehrenberg has been phone banking for the Biden-Harris campaign. “Because this is such an important election that will inevitably have major implications for our futures, I feel obligated to do my part in this election and for democracy as a whole, even if I can’t vote,” Ehrenberg said.

Sophomore Leah Braden has also done some phone banking on behalf of the Biden/Harris campaign. Braden noted that “I think a lot of us find ourselves in this place right now where we’re invested in the political climate and it’s frustrating to be unable to vote, but there are still ways to participate and it feels good knowing that I’ve done what I can do to help.”

Wilson students who will be 18 by November 3 can confirm that they are registered to vote and exercise their constitutional right to do so. However, everyone else need not sit on the sidelines. DCPS has given the day off of school on election day. This means for students 16 and older there is an opportunity to volunteer at polling stations. Wilson junior Molly Goldwasser has signed up to be a poll worker on November 3. After registering via Poll Hero, an organization recruiting young poll workers, she has been in communication with the organization to get her set up to work on Election Day. “I was hoping by signing up, more locations could be open on Election Day, and I’d help make the voting process more efficient,” said Goldwasser. 

Even if students are unable to work on behalf of a particular candidate or ticket, they are still able to learn about the plethora of issues at hand. Just by cultivating knowledge about current issues and watching the presidential debates, students can learn each party’s views to formulate their own opinions on the candidates.