The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

Addressing The Elephant In The Room

This Story Is Up To Date As Of January 23rd, 2024


Happy election year, Highlanders! With many of our Hazen students and staff eligible to vote in the upcoming election, we figured it would be important to provide you all with an in-depth explanation of how the Presidential election operates in our country. As well as taking a good look into the current running participants!

When Can You Vote?

For starters, let’s take a look into the separate sections of the election and voting abilities. As many know, you must be at least 18 years old to participate in voting. However, as a rule under the Future Voters Program which was put into action in 2019, teens ranging from ages Sixteen to Seventeen are allowed to pre-register themselves as registered voters before they turn 18. It must also be noted that if a teenager is 17 but will turn 18 during the 3-month gap of August to November, which is when the primary and general elections will take place, then that youth will legally be allowed to vote if properly registered. Looking into the process of voting may seem confusing, but is pretty straightforward with the right resources. 

How Can You Register?

For the population of teens who do not yet have a driver’s license. Once you turn the age of 18 and decide to get your driver’s license, the Washington State Department of Licensing allows eighteen-year-olds to register to vote while filing their personal licensing information.  For the teenagers who have already received their driver’s license before 18, you will have to wait until your eighteenth birthday to fill out your information using your licensing information and social security number. There are several ways to fill out this information through the Washington Department of Licensing including via mail, online, or in-person.

How Do Elections Operate?

 Now that we have the background information out of the way, it is important to fully understand how each election operates. The first main election is usually held six to nine months before the general election. This election allows voters of the separate parties to vote for their preferred candidate to represent their party in the final Presidential election. There are a few guidelines that must be followed under the process of the Primary Election, which can be different depending on the specific state. During the primary election, specific states can consider themselves open or closed during the election. Open primary voting indicates that voters do not have to be specifically registered for a specific political party. While closed election limits voters to only vote for candidates under their respective registered political party. On the other hand, there is a middle ground position within the election group, which is often called the “modified” or “hybrid” election. The modified version can be considered a combination of the previous two election types. For context, Washington State is considered to be an open-voting state during the primary election. It may also be addressed that Washington state follows the voting process called the “Top 2 Primary,” this process allows the top two highest candidates to advance no matter the political party background.

Once the primaries have finished and certain candidates advance in the race, the Presidential National Convention will then take place. This process allows delegates to select a final nominee for the Presidential and Vice Presidential election of both parties. 

Finally, once nominees have been selected, the final general voting election will be held. As well as the opportunity to allow votes from electoral colleges to take place. This will occur a month before the presidential inauguration. 


Who Is Currently Running?

Now that the process and insight have been described and discussed, it would only be fitting to take a look into the motives and intentions behind the current notable running candidates from both parties;

 Joe Biden 

Regarding the Democratic Party, current U.S. President Joe Biden announced his decision to run for re-election in the 2024 Presidential Election in April 2023. Biden’s current campaign is designed to address the issues of accessible child and adult care within the U.S. while continuing his actions from his current Presidency to ensure the effective handling of the Medicare epidemic and the provision of appropriate social security for citizens. At the peak of Biden’s 2024 campaign, he spoke out about his actions to codify the laws and matters of abortion rights at the center of his presidential campaign. 

Dean Phillips

Dean Phillips is another Democratic candidate for the election. The Minnesota-born U.S. Representative announced his decision to participate in the election back in October 2023. Phillip has carried out his election addressing his four main issues in need of progression. These specific topics include lowering the cost of living for the business and working community, addressing mental health decline and drug abuse, investing in the young community, and making the political community less divisive and limited. 

Throughout Phillips’s campaign, he has seemed to take a less confident stance when addressing the probability of democratic success in the election. At one point in the campaign, Phillips goes on to state “It looks like on our current course, the Democrats will lose and Trump will be our President again.” 

Marianne Williamson 

Finally, for the Democratic Party, author, and politician Marianne Williamson announced her presidential candidacy in February 2023. Williamson previously ran during the 2020 Primary Election under the Democratic Party. Williamson decided to focus her campaign on the topics of universal healthcare, tuition-free higher education, paid parental leave, and an increase in the working minimum wage. Williamson’s actions to address economic inequality and change have allowed many socio-economic issues to be rightfully addressed. 

Donald Trump 

Looking at the current Republican Presidential Candidates, former U.S. President Donald Trump announced his actions to re-run for the Presidency back in November 2022. The 45th U.S. President addressed his actions for election to be an action of restoration to our nation. As he implies the country has been in a systematic decline ever since losing the 2020 U.S. election to current president  Joe Biden. Trump provided several of his intentions so far through his campaign. Some of these include putting an end to illegal immigration, stripping thousands of employees of their civil services, as well as disabling transgender rights. 

Ryan Binkley

Ryan Binkley is a pastor and businessman who announced his candidacy in April 2023. Binkley has focused his campaign on addressing the topics of lowering federal spending, reducing healthcare costs, addressing immigration, and a need for an increase in border security, as well as an increase in involvement with education. Binkley has seemed to share his religious views often throughout his running campaign. Often using statements of God as the passage to fix the U.S. nation.

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley is a former U.N. Ambassador under the Trump administration from 2016 to 2017. The former South Carolina governor announced her candidacy in February 2023. Haley has taken her candidacy to speak on her intentions to end congressional earmarks, reduce inflation, and speak about foreign policies and immigration laws. Haley has seemed to catch much attention for her opinions towards abortion from her “Pro-life” standpoint. She has shared her agreement with the pro-life viewpoint, However, Haley shares disagreement toward both parties politicizing abortion, she goes on to refuse to force other women to be pro-life as it is their decision. 

Asa Hutchinson

Asa Hutchinson is a former governor of Arkansas and officially announced his candidacy in April 2023. Hutchinson used much of his government experience during his campaign as he intends to address support in law enforcement and increase security at the United States- Mexico border. As well as his opinions and actions of being against American isolationism during the war between Russia and Ukraine. Hutchinson has been seen to be one of the few candidates who has criticized Trump’s decision to run for president due to his previous presidential history.

I hope this in-depth how-to guide and background analysis of the 2024 United States presidential election has been helpful to highlanders. I strongly encourage you all to vote if able, and I hope you enjoyed it!

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About the Contributors
Aliyah Diquan-Mcrae, Co-Head Editor
One of my favorite articles I wrote in The Kilt would have to be “Gangsta Rap and the N.W.A” that I wrote last year or “The little Mermaid” story from this year!
Mika Murillo, Staff
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