Voices of IH: Election 2020

Immaculate Heart students respond to a range of questions on how they view the upcoming presidential election and the difference it might make in their lives.

Are you able to vote this election? Have you voted yet? How does it feel to be able to vote?

Charlotte Labadie ’21

“Yes, I am able to vote in this election! I already filled out my ballot and I have dropped it off. It feels super empowering to be able to vote, especially in a time like this. There is so much at stake in this election, and it is super exciting to be able to participate and make my voice heard.”

— Charlotte Labadie ’21

What are the most important issues for you in the upcoming election?

— Olivia Dance ’21

“In the upcoming election, I am most concerned about electing the candidate that is dedicated to making America a safe place for all the people who call it home. For me, that means a candidate who has an effective plan for handling the pandemic and supports breaking down systematic and institutional racism, preserving reproductive rights, putting in place policies that will help to at least mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change, and treating immigrants like people instead of criminals.”

— Olivia Dance ’21

Olivia Shay ’21

“I would say that the most important issues for me would be how the upcoming president focuses on health care for all, the justice system, police reform, particularly when it comes to impulsive reactions to minorities, gun control, excessive violence, immigration, climate change, and the coronavirus issues in America. I feel that the current president hasn’t done much for any of these issues at all. It’s interesting to see how each candidate approaches each situation. We just need to keep hope alive, support candidates who support reform and equality, and let our voices be heard. It’s more important now than ever.”

— Olivia Shay ’21

Isabel Cunningham ’23

“The most important issues for me in the upcoming election are women’s rights, rights for people of color, and LGBTQ rights. I’m either a member of these groups or have friends and family who are, so the thought that all the progress made on resolving these issues could be taken away is awful.”

— Isabel Cunningham ’23

Alyssa Fuelles ’23 

“In the upcoming election my main issues are immigration and racism. America needs to change when it comes to how we deal with immigrants. I hope that if Biden wins, he does actually roll back Trump’s immigration initiatives and implement better initiatives. My second issue is the racism in this country. In America the Black community has been wrongly treated, from slavery, to segregation, rights, and now with the ongoing systemic racism and the horrible killings of innocent black lives. The country really needs to become educated on the Black community, culture and the racism that is taught in America.”

— Alyssa Fuelles ’23  

Meiyah Go ’22

“The most important issues for me in the upcoming election are women’s rights and safety with the coronavirus. I think it is very important that Biden wins as he will ensure that America is more protected from the virus.” 
— Meiyah Go ’22

Amelia Joyce ’22

“This election feels as if there is so much more on the line than ever. The main issues I would like to see addressed are racial inequality, climate change, and free healthcare for all. Also, with the addition of the new Supreme Court Justice, I am scared that both women and LGBTQ+ rights, that so many people fought for, are going backwards. I am really hoping this election will bring good progressive change to the country.”

— Amelia Joyce ’22

Do you know/understand the local propositions? 

Thuy Vi Nguyen ’21 

“I’m still no expert on the propositions, but I enjoyed scrolling through Ballotpedia to read the “pros” and “cons” of each! Often, the concerns I had echoed conversations we’ve already had in class. For example, Proposition 19 recalled the fundraising work my class did in during the Justice Fair in Contemporary Moral Issues last year, when we supported the California Wildfire Relief Fund. My group researched the economic & health effect of the wildfires on California Natives. I found that these memories colored my vote; after all, if the propositions are locally relevant, it follows that I should reflect on my understanding of community-specific needs – on top of the internet-based research and more “removed” political commentary, so to speak. So, it was sweet to know that in a way, I’ve already been civically active by virtue of my classwork.” 

— Thuy Vi Nguyen ’21 

How do you feel about early voting? 

Addie Kennally ’22

“I think early voting is really impactful on the election. It gives people more time to vote which means even more people will vote than if there was less time.”

— Addie Kennally ’22

Sofia Leon ’23

“I think early voting is a good thing. My family voted by mail this year. Early voting is more comforting especially now in a pandemic. Early voting is a lot safer because it is less likely you will get Covid.  Also, if anything conflicts with the day of the election, it’s better to get it done early rather than later when it’s too late. I know that there are cons to mail-in voting, but I do think it is the best option considering the pandemic.

— Sofia Leon ’23   

Gialana Orocio ’21 

“I think that voting early (and by mail) is a smart and safe decision for this year. The election of 2020 is a huge and important decision for America because this will decide the future of America’s economy and people’s rights. The limited places to send in votes show that voter suppression is real, but by voting early your vote will count and will not be disqualified or not counted. Voting by mail is the safest way to get your vote in during the pandemic.”

—  Gialana Orocio ’21 

How do you think this election will be different from past elections?

Maddie Bogdjilian ’21

“When thinking of prior elections, I can never recall a time when America was in such a dangerous position. Of course, I was younger, and 2008 did have concerns regarding the economy, but 2020 is a whole different story. Over the last four years, many important changes have taken place in our country that need to be addressed, and stopped: Kids in cages, stripping countless Americans of healthcare benefits, climate destruction, and most recently, the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Our country is leaning less and less to the side of democracy and freedom each day. It feels like every step forward now means 10 steps backward. The outcome of this election is so important because America needs to offer immigrants better protection, stop separating children from their parents, bring attention and acknowledge that Black lives do matter, protect reproductive rights, and regain the respect across the globe as a powerful and strong democracy. The rise of white supremacy has never been so publicly “accepted” and not condemned by a president in many, many years. This should not be happening. BIOPC should not be fearing for their lives and freedom if Trump wins. All people deserve equal protection and rights in this country, and that is why this election is so important. For if it is won by the wrong party, the gradual decline of what the United States of America stands for will happen.”

— Maddie Bogdjilian ’21

Lily Factora ’21

“I think the election is significantly more important than in the past since both the pandemic and climate crisis are huge current issues. The outcome of the election will pretty much determine how many more lives will be lost to the coronavirus, and how the United States will respond to the climate crisis. Without action, the human race will be threatened in the next few years and the destruction of the climate will be irreversible. This election has a large number of lives in its hands which is unique because of the current pandemic and the increasing severity of climate change.”

— Lily Factora ’21

Abigail Hunter ’22

“Covid is a big obstacle for people trying to vote. Voters suppression is a big factor in this year’s election as well. I think that this year there will be a bigger mail-in vote percentage contributed to the overall election. Based on the social media I subscribe to I feel like there is a lot more awareness among the new voters that registered. I really hope this election will have a different outcome than the 2016 election!” 

— Abigail Hunter ’22

Ella Jordon ’21

“This election is already different because as of October 30, more than 80 million Americans have already voted, which is substantially more than the number who voted in 2016. Besides record-breaking voter turnout, this election cycle is unique due to the Covid pandemic. Americans are not just voting based on their party, or the economy or immigration, but on which candidate they believe will get America through the pandemic and economic downturn. Beyond that, the candidate’s strength of character, or lack of it, is on this year’s ballot like never before.” — Ella Jordon ’21

Aislinn Lauth ’21

“I think this election will be so different from past elections because of the complications that we face with from the pandemic and because of how divided each political party has become. It has been harder to spread information and have meetings to talk about important issues regarding the election. Many people remain very ignorant on important topics and refuse to be educated because they are already affiliated with a specific candidate or party. They feel the need to villainize any beliefs outside of their own, which causes people to be divided rather than connected, when they should be willing to vote for the candidate who is able to most benefit the people of the United States at this time.”

— Aislinn Lauth ’21

Grace Reynolds ’22

“In most past elections we have known the winner by the end of Tuesday. I don’t think we will know for at least a few days.”

— Grace Reynolds ’22

Sofia Shapourian ’22

“I feel that this election will be different from other past elections because many people are becoming more informed and educated about the presidential candidates and the many faults of our current president today. I also think that many who have turned 18 are using their new privilege to vote, which is great!”
— Sofia Shapourian ’22

Renata Spinelli ’21

“The lead up to this election has been very tense and stressful. This is one of the most divisive elections in American history. Many people are dedicated supporters of a candidate and both sides would be furious if their candidate was the one to lose. There is a possibility that things could even get violent after the results are announced. Both Biden and Trump have differing views on big topics such as climate change, racism, and the rights of women, the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrants. These topics make this election very high stakes on their own, but this election is also taking place during the COVID pandemic and a still-recovering economy which makes everything even more difficult. However, despite all of these negatives, I have hope that this could be a record-breaking year for voter turnout. I have seen many influencers on social media using their platforms to promote voter registration and many voters have already voted early.”

— Renata Spinelli ’21  

What are your thoughts on the policies that your candidate of choice plans to uphold?

Eleanor Hunter ’22

“I like Joe Biden’s policies on stricter environmental policies, such as oil company regulations, and I also like his policies on immigration and his plan to deal with Covid.”

— Eleanor Hunter ’22 

How do you expect the parties to react to the winner of the presidential election?

Georgia Botham ’21

“I expect conservatives/Donald Trump supporters to throw riots if Joe Biden wins, but within the year I expect that to slow down. If Trump wins, I expect Gen Z and leftists to be depressed for a couple of months, but then I think we’re going to step up and do our part knowing he won’t be president for another term. We’ll keep informing people and keep spreading information so that this doesn’t happen again.”

— Georgia Botham ’21

Ruby Gutierrez ’21

“If Donald Trump wins the election, I think the Republican Party will take full advantage of their power in the presidency and the Supreme Court to pass extremely conservative laws. And I think the Democratic Party will try to gain a majority in the House of Representatives to combat the Republicans. If Joe Biden wins the election, I think the Democratic Party will definitely try to appoint more Supreme Court justices, particularly liberal justices, to combat the conservative majority. And I think the Republican Party will try to undermine Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s positions while in office.”

— Ruby Gutierrez ’21

Karina Konstantinavicius ’23

“I believe that both parties are going to have pretty big reactions to who will win this upcoming election. On the Democrat side, I believe that if President Trump does win there will be a lot of anger and more feelings of failure to everything and every cause the Democrats have been working for. On the other hand, if Biden does win, I believe that a huge weight will be lifted off those who do support him and causes like women’s rights and Black Lives Matter. I believe that they will be very relieved and will be celebrating immensely. For people on the Republican side, I think that if Biden wins, they will feel more frustration and anger than disappointment. However, if Trump does win, I think that they will make it known that he is the president for the next four years and really emphasize his influence for the next term.”

— Karina Konstantinavicius ’23

Charlotte Waxman ’22

“I think both parties will react badly to the other’s win, however, I think more chaos would come with a Republican win since Donald Trump in office would directly affect the rights of so many people. I worry about the Republican party’s response to Biden winning because Trump has made it seem like he will not gracefully accept a loss and it feels like he will try to make it seem like it was a fraudulent election.”

— Charlotte Waxman ’22

“Voices of IH” Reporters: Kya Adams, Ashlye Arrue, Adeline Bunje, Canela Castro, Madison Felix, Meiyah Go, Meredith Maxwell, Sophia Movsisian, Isabelle Newson, Jonna Riley, Ava Tourgeman, Mari Vitangcol

Featured image from WLDS

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