By Meredith Farrington, Features and Arts & Entertainment Editor
Many Trinity Hall faculty and seniors alike participated in the 2020 presidential election by casting their votes on, or in many cases before, election day on Nov. 3 in one of the most contentious elections in the history of the United States.
This election process was different from years past as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The voting process itself was unique, with a large percentage of voters participating by mail in order to keep people safe from the spread of the virus.
“More Americans voted in this election than in any other election in this nation’s history and many of those voters voted by mail due to the pandemic,” history teacher Katie Gillen said. “The contested results and overall outcome of this election will have lasting effects on this country, yet another reason why 2020 will prove to be a pivotal year in American history.”
A fraction of the senior class who reached their 18th birthday in time for voter registration in New Jersey were able to vote, exercising their right as legal adults. These members of the senior class spoke on what voting means to them and how this new responsibility has changed their outlook on American government and politics.
“Being able to vote this year has allowed me to realize how critical participation is,” senior Ainsley Gmelich said. “In such a polarized country, I am so grateful that I am old enough to voice my political opinion and represent a new generation of America.”
Many of the students agreed with Gmelich about the impact of voting in a democratic society. “Voting was important to me because young people right now can only do so much in regards to changing or creating policy, but we can make our voices heard through voting, and that’s exactly what I intend to do,” senior Faith King said.
Senior Veronica Szenzenstein expressed her enthusiasm about reaching legal adulthood and being able to have a say in the nation’s political actions. “It was really exciting to feel like my voice mattered. I’m excited to be a part of this moment in history,” Szenzenstein said.
A part of Trinity Hall’s mission is to teach students how to create and enact change in all areas of their lives, and seniors have proven they understand and appreciate their civic responsibilities and rights.
“Having the privilege to vote is one of my first major responsibilities as a US citizen, and I learned so much while becoming a more informed voter,” student body president Charlotte Walsh said.