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Presidential primaries provide first voting opportunity for some students

Connecticut+is+widely+considered+a+%E2%80%9Cblue%E2%80%9D+state%2C+but+has+used+its+7+electoral+votes+for+a+fair+number+of+Republicans+in+the+past+century.
Alex Gaines ’25
Connecticut is widely considered a “blue” state, but has used its 7 electoral votes for a fair number of Republicans in the past century.

The Presidential Primary in Connecticut will be held on April 2, allowing any Westport resident to vote for their preferred Democratic and Republican candidate for the presidential election this November.

While most Staples students are under the age of 18, anyone who will turn that age by Election Day on November 5 will be able to vote in the primaries this spring. Connecticut will also have four days of early voting, from March 26-30.

“I am planning to vote in this election because I think it’s an important right that not everyone gets the opportunity to exercise,” Katherine Spada ’24 said. “[Even] at a young age, we can learn from the different parties and form our own opinions.”

While the Democratic and Republican candidates have already been declared– President Joe Biden, and former president Donald Trump, respectively– the primaries allow citizens to participate in the nomination process.

“It’s basically set, Nikki Haley has dropped out, and I don’t think there’s any challenger for Mr. Biden,” Social studies teacher Robert Shamberg said. “But there’s always an importance of going and voting and showing your support.”

I am planning to vote in this election because I think it’s an important right that not everyone gets the opportunity to exercise. [Even] at a young age, we can learn from the different parties and form our own opinions.

— Katherine Spada '24

Many Staples civics classes, including AP Gov, include curriculum to teach students how to register and vote, as well as explaining its importance.

“We educate them about voting even in the primaries,” Shamberg said, “[about] how there’s so many access points to get registered because other young people are just looking to get kids registered.”

Connecticut is considered a “blue” democratic state, where the majority of the population usually votes in support of the democratic candidate. The last time Connecticut’s electoral votes went to a Republican candidate was 35 years ago, for George H. W. Bush.

“I’m going to vote,” AP Gov student Grace Zhang ’25 said. “Because even though I know Connecticut’s vote won’t change, I want to at least use my power of political participation to help make it the standard for young Americans like myself.”

For primary voting, polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m, and registered voters can find their closest polling location on the official website for the state of Connecticut.

“I think we’re incredibly privileged to be part of a school system that teaches us the importance of civics,” Junior State of America president Dylan Fiore ’24 said. “But now it’s up to us to actually make our voices heard, and whether it’s in the primaries or the general election, there’s few better ways than voting.”

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About the Contributor
Alex Gaines ’25, Creative Director
Creative Director Alex Gaines ’25 is no stranger to the newsroom. Gaines became intrigued by journalism at Ursus, where she was in awe at the complex layouts Inklings produced. “I used to always compare our papers to the Inklings papers,” Gaines said. “I remember being intrigued by the layouts, which I think drew me to the creative director position.” Though being creative director is a full time job, Gaines still finds time to pursue her other ambitions. “I took a class at UCLA on marketing,” Gaines said. “It was super interesting because I definitely want to pursue something in business.”  

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