Advice for first-time voters

We asked community members, including Mayor Dennis Law, what advice they’d give to first-time voters.

  • Monday, November 7, 2016 1:37pm
  • News

Dennis Law, Mayor of Renton:

“The only advice I would give is to urge voters to spend a little time reading through the voters pamphlet to learn a little about the issues or candidates. Some people vote blindly for initiatives and are shocked when they later learn about a tax or fee increase.”

Damien Pattenaude, future superintendent of Renton School District:

“I think a key piece of advice for first-time voters is to understand that their vote matters. They should not buy into the rhetoric that voting is unimportant or cannot make a difference in their lives. I truly believe voting is one of our most sacred rights. From the presidential election to local elections, our democracy only truly works if we participate in the voting process… Renton School District is committed to continuing to play an important role in helping our students prepare to fully take part in our nation’s democracy. Critical to such participation is voting. For first-time voters, they have the opportunity to partake in a sacred process that was not always afforded to all Americans. “

Linda Smith, member of Renton African-American Pastors Group:

“It is important for first time voters to vote because voting is what ensures that every individual gets to have a voice in important issues that affect their lives. Voting ensures that all citizens experience fully the human rights and dignity guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States and our Creator in transforming the world in which we live. It also guarantees you the right to participate in the democratic process. A failure to vote is to take away those rights in which many have died for. Vote to ensure that every person enjoys the freedom, liberty and the decency of human rights.”

Brett Crueger, civics teacher at Hazen High School:

“[First-time voters] need to focus on local races, figuring out who’s representing you where and expanding from there. And understanding that the president, no matter who it is, represents us all no matter if we agree or disagree… One vote does make a difference. It can make a huge difference. We’ve had close races in our state… your vote does matter. You just have make sure it’s heard. Educate yourself. If you don’t know something, find someone who can help you.”

Madelyn Jacklin, senior at Hazen High School:

“Make sure you’re informed. Voting is a privilege because you get to help choose who is running your country. Make sure you’re researching your candidate you think you want to vote for. Make an informed choice and that you’re not voting based on what other people are saying. A lot of people base their opinions based on what their family members or friends say. It’s a choice that you have, so you should be able to make the choice, not the people around you… it’s your voice.”


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