Manual seniors reflect on voting for the first time


Outside view of Louisville Marriott East, one of the places where Jefferson County residents can place their vote. Photo by Macy Waddle.

Macy Waddle

Many Manual seniors are making their voices heard for the first time as Election Day creeps closer and closer. However, between the pandemic and a highly tense political climate, this year’s voting looks rather different than normal. Eligible Manual students took full advantage of the variety of options, from attending in-person sites to utilizing mail-in ballots.  

Landon Vandergriff (12, YPAS), who voted for the first time this fall, chose the mail-in option for a number of reasons. 

“A combination of ease, not wanting to take unnecessary risks with the virus and potential voter intimidation [caused him to mail in his ballot]. Seeing stories like the one where a caravan of Trump supporters ran a Biden campaign bus out of town, plus other similar ones, make me not really want to physically go to the polls unless for some reason I can’t vote by mail,” Vandergriff said. 

Other students felt they would miss out on the full voting experience, and instead chose to vote in-person at one of the Jefferson County locations. 

“I didn’t want to risk it not being counted if I didn’t fill it out correctly and I wanted it to be counted as soon as I filled it out. I also felt like I wouldn’t get the full experience if I didn’t vote in person,” Olivia Robinson (12, HSU) said. Robinson voted at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. 

According to Allison Durand (12, YPAS), the experience lived up to her expectations. 

“It went a lot smoother than I thought it was going to. Especially after I got there and saw how many people were inside. I fully expected to wait in line for a while, but the whole process ended up being super-efficient,” Durand said. 

She also noted how the teller complimented her outfit and described it as an “overall great experience.” Durand voted at the Louisville Marriott East location. 

This tweet was made by Joe Sonka, the Courier Journal’s State government reporter. 

Many were nervous about how these new voting stations were going to work, due to the pandemic and early voting method related concerns. However, those who voted in-person were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the process was for them. Durand was “in and out in 15 minutes” and Owen McGuirk (12, HSU), who also voted at Louisville Marriott East, described it as, “very crowded but fast-moving and easy.” 

Vandergriff explained he had no problem receiving his mail-in ballot, but he had trouble when registering to vote. 

“Once I got my ballot it was really nice to make sure my vote was counted online, but it was really annoying to spend a lot of time trying to fix my information,” he said. “I think it would dissuade a lot of potential voters from voting if they had to spend that much time on it.” His information was correct on his ballot, but still incorrect online by the time he submitted it.

Students took great strides to make sure they were making informed choices when voting for the first time. 

“I’ve been watching the debates since the beginning of the process, listened to podcasts, watched interviews, read both informative and opinion pieces from both sides and I’ve spent a lot of time on both the GOP and Democratic website reading policy proposals, etc. I really tried to be as informed as possible,” Durand said. 

Alongside the candidates,  there’s also Marsy’s Law and the JCPS tax increase proposal for voters to decide on. 

For more information on how you can vote, click here