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Speak Out: The 2016 Presidential Election
Shakeva Griswould

Too young to vote? You can still play a vital role in helping to get the candidate you support elected—by volunteering to work on that candidate’s campaign. Many elections are won because a candidate has more supporters working for them to get out their messages and encourage people to vote. Reporting by Shakeva Griswould.

Your Questions About Voting Answered!

Q: How old do I have to be to vote?
You must be 18 on or before November 7, 2016.

Q: Do I have to be registered in order to vote?

Q: Do I have to be 18 to register?
No. If you will be 18 by November 7 you can register now. You must also be born in the U.S. or be a naturalized citizen, and you have to have been living in the state you want to register in for at least 30 days.

Q: How do I register?
You can register at the Board of Elections. Find one near you at:

You can also download a registration form and mail it in. Find it at:

Q: I’m not sure if I’m registered or not. How do I find out?
Go here: Then click on “Verify That You’re Registered.”

Q: Where do I go to vote?
Polling places are located throughout the city. You can only vote at your designated polling place. Find yours at:

Q: What does “enrolling in a political party” mean?
If you choose to enroll in one of the eight parties in New York State—Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Green, Working Families, Independ-ence, Women’s Equality, Reform—you may vote in any primaries for the party you enroll in.

Q: What if I don’t enroll in a party?
You can’t vote in the primary election. These elections are held to choose each party’s candidates for the general election. (New York State’s 2016 presidential primary was on April 19.) You can still vote in the general election on November 8.

Q: If I enroll in a party, do I have to vote for that party’s candidates in the general election?

If you were 18, who would you have voted for in the primary and why?

Victor Tanis-Stoll, 21:
I voted for Bernie Sanders. He’s the opposite of Donald Trump. Instead of building walls, he wants to repair bridges. He’s a socialist and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better than the capitalism we have today, where big corporations give as much money as they want to help elect congresspeople and presidents who then pass laws that benefit those corporations.

Brianna Lackwood, 17, Midwood High School:
I would have voted for Bernie Sanders because of his stance on education, that public college should be free. He also highlights the fact that healthcare is a right all Americans should have, and don’t. Ever since he’s been in politics, he’s been consistently fighting for civil rights and he doesn’t change his opinion to get votes.

Jeimmy Hurtado, 16, Baccalaureate School for Global Education:
I like Bernie because unlike Hillary he doesn’t seem to just stand for positions that are politically correct. I don’t like Trump’s stance on immigration; he is specifically racist against Hispanics and wants to build a wall to block out Mexicans. As an Ecuadorian, I find this deeply offensive.

Hande Erkan, 16, International HS at LaGuardia Community College:
I’m not sure if I would vote for Hillary or Bernie. I don’t just like Hillary because she’s a woman. She supports gay rights now. I think she’ll make improvements in gender equality. But Bernie Sanders wants to make college free, although I wonder where the money would come from to pay for that. I think it’s important to vote Democrat because neither candidate is racist and Trump is.

Jazmine Gibbs, SUNY Empire State College, 22:
I voted for Bernie Sanders because he’s forward-thinking, and he’s super liberal. He doesn’t take corporate donations like Hillary Clinton. I think he wants the best for America and to improve it. He was a civil rights activist and he seems more hands-on than other politicians. He believes in socialism and I like that.

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