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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye June 2024 Issue
1st Amend Award School

Performing your civic duty by being an informed voter

With the general election in less than a week, and due to the high-stakes riding on the results, information on voting is more crucial now than it has ever been. Many Americans find participating in this election imperative because of the political division that has plagued the country following the low voter turnout in the general election of 2016, with only about 55.4% of registered voters going to the polls.

Half of America’s eligible voters abstained from the presidential election in 2016, believing that their votes didn’t count and not caring enough to seek out the information necessary to make an informed political decision. Due to the overwhelming amount of information thrown at people on a daily basis, it can be difficult to stay informed and make educated decisions.

Celebrities, influencers and everyday people alike have been pushing each other to get out and vote more than ever, sharing resources and words of encouragement through social media and various other platforms. Recently, the former cast members of The West Wing performed a stage table read on one of their past episodes, airing on HBOMax as A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote. Cast members informed their audience on the multiple aspects of the voting process and where to receive accurate information between sections, a common theme amongst public figures advocating for participation in the election. Scrolling through social media, it’s hard to miss people sharing the different voting deadlines for each state.

Key voting dates differ throughout the nation. In Washington, the deadline for online registration is Oct. 26, and voters are allowed to register in-person as late as Election Day, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. Mail-in voting is the most common method practiced in WA, but there are still voting centers scattered throughout the state, with four residing in Snohomish County. Starting Oct. 16, ballots can be dropped off at one of the 30 ballot drop boxes in Snohomish County, the closest to MTHS being in front of the Mountlake Terrace Library.

Voters likely know the specific deadlines in their own respective state, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know who to vote for. George Dremousis, the AP Government and Civics teacher at MTHS, knows where to get his information on the election so he can make smart and informed political decisions.

Dremousis gathers as much information as he can surrounding the election. Thanks to his connections deep within the government and military, he’s able to learn new information long before it’s released to the public.

“I get my news from a combination of sources,” Dremousis said. “I tap into my connections and various resources in Washington DC and Olympia to get information firsthand when possible. I have one source in particular deep inside the Pentagon who is always spot-on in providing me accurate news well in advance of it becoming public knowledge.”

In order to gather more knowledge, he also watches local news stations, reads local and national papers and studies the voters’ pamphlet sent by the government.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time reading the voters’ guide the State Elections Committee sends out, educating myself on the key ballot measures for my District,” Dremousis said. “I also like The National Review, PBS, CBS Radio, KIRO FM and KOMO 4 for my local news.”

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Not everyone has had years of experience participating in elections. For some, the upcoming election is their very first time casting their ballots, and with so much to learn, it can be difficult for new voters to know where to begin. Former MTHS student Alex Park registered to vote this year, just months before the general election. They have a few tricks up their sleeve to help them be an informed first-time voter.

“Sometimes when I’m scrolling through Instagram, I’ll come across some important information that I didn’t know,” Park said. “…but I mainly rely on my parents who are regular voters to guide me through the process.”

Park said they feel they are responsible for protecting citizens’ rights and representing their own beliefs through their vote.

“I feel like it’s my responsibility and my civic duty as an American in the United States to vote,” Park said. “I need to represent what I believe in, and I need to protect mine and other peoples’ rights.”

Dremousis shared a similar sentiment.

“I am excited to vote myself like I do every year,” Dremousis said. “It’s our Constitutional right and not something we should bypass or take lightly.” 

As the AP Government and Civics teacher, he does his best to teach his students about their rights and the importance of informed voting.

“I teach the classes from an informative and objective perspective as I feel it’s vital for young students to be informed of all the facts and issues facing society before then formulating their own political opinions,” he said. “I do care that they are able to articulate their thoughts and positions from a standpoint that values and relies on data to back up their points.”

According to Dremousis, this election is one of the most important in the history of the United States.

“Whatever the outcomes will be in November, one thing is certain; it will definitely be one of the most interesting and important Federal elections in recent history.” he said.

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About the Contributors
Rachel Davis
Rachel Davis, Design Editor
Design Editor Rachel Davis is a senior and it is her fourth year in Hawks Student Media. Her goal, as always, is to help others learn the journalistic writing style and be confident in their work. She is also working on improving her designing skills and training the next generation to take over once she graduates. In her free time, Rachel likes to go on long walks, write in a creative journal and steal everyone's hoodies.
Maggie O'Hara
Maggie O'Hara, Hawkeye Co-Editor-in-Chief
Co-Editor-in-Chief Maggie O’Hara is a senior at MTHS and is in her fourth year on staff for The Hawkeye. This year, she hopes to help others follow through on any plans or creative ideas they have, edit as much as possible to prove herself as copy editor, and keep the organization running as smoothly as possible. In her free time, Maggie enjoys drawing rats, dyeing hair, drinking coffee and other forms of caffeine, and spending time with her cat Paul. After high school, Maggie is hoping to go to college and pursue a job in either psychology or cosmetology.
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