Election Coverage

Margaux Newby, Haleigh Harper, Reporter

The midterm elections in early November had many topics that could have had a big impact on the school. They could have affected the school’s budget and the treatment of teachers at DHS and other schools in Colorado.

You may have also seen posters or posts on social media about people encouraging others to “get out and vote [in the midterm elections].” A “get out and vote” rally took place on Saturday, Oct. thirteenth at Buckley Park, which was organized by Indivisible, a local activist group who organizes rallies and protests for liberal rights.

A good way to get involved in the community is to join Indivisible. Indivisible holds protests and rallies in Durango to protest their views. Anyone from the community can join, and it is free to join.

“If we don’t participate then we don’t have a democracy,” said local activist Jacob Fillion, who is involved with Indivisible. “It is taking part in elections, taking part in the campaigns that lead up to election and staying engaged and educated,” said Fillion.

In America, eighteen to twenty nine year olds have always had the lowest voting turnout and are one of the biggest populations in the U.S. today. Students have to be at least sixteen to register to vote in Colorado. “The more young people vote, I think the bigger impact you’ll have,” said DHS government teacher, David Weisfeldt. “I hope for a snowball effect where people see the power of the youth vote.”

Over the past few years, voter participation has reached a minimum. Only 13% of 18-24 year olds vote.“I’m… thinking of children who politically don’t get to vote but I think everybody in this country needs to be heard because we are only going to be as strong a country as the people are struggling the most,” said Teachers’ Union Member and E.L.L teacher Elizabeth Dillman.

“Even if we don’t have an equal amount of money, we should have an equal amount of voice, that’s my philosophy,” said Dillman.

The issues for the midterm elections are different for every state. The most pressing issue that was in the Colorado ballot that would have affected schools and students is Amendment 73, which dealt with establishing tax brackets and raising taxes to fund education. “Freshmen and sophomores might see changes while they’re still in high school,” said Weisfeldt. “Students will find relevance in a lot of the ballot questions this year.”

In the midterm election turnout, Amendment 73 did not pass by 54.44%. Many teachers and students were upset by this, because it would have had a great impact on the school, specifically resources, teacher pay, etc. “Our funding is I believe for people somewhere around 47th or 48th in the country,” said Dillman.

One of the most important things in the ballot was the governor’s race. Either democrat, Jared Polis, or republican, Walker Stapleton, would replace John Hickenlooper to be governor of Colorado. “That’s sort of a new face that leads our state,” said Weisfeldt. Jared Polis won by 52.3%.

A good way for teachers to get involved is to look into the Teachers’ union. The Teachers’ Union is a group of teachers that come together to defend their rights. “Teachers rights are, I suppose, are just as important as anyone in the US,” said Dillman. “It’s nice to have the Teachers Association because I can do things like advocate for my students, and if someone disagrees with my politics, I feel like I have support from the association so I can do my job the way I think I need to.”

America is getting more and more progressive and diverse with the people who are elected in government. Jared Polis is the first openly gay governor. Two women, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were the first muslim women elected to congress, and Deb Haaland is the first Native American congresswoman. There are now more women in congress than ever.

DHS held a ‘mock election’ in November to see what sides students would take on the issues in the Colorado ballot. The results of the mock election show that DHS is more liberal than the state as a whole and not all of the issues or candidates DHS voted for were approved in the state election.