Chicago Mayoral Election: High school students lead parade to the polls to early vote

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Saturday, February 18, 2023
Chicago high school students lead parade to the polls to early vote
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Seniors from two Chicago Public High Schools took a field trip to early vote in the Chicago mayoral election.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some of the city's youngest voters made their way to the polls today to make their voices heard in Chicago's race for mayor.

Whether it was getting there by bus or walking all the way to the polls, seniors from two Chicago Public High Schools took a field trip to early vote on Friday. Almost all of them were registering and voting for the first time.

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"It felt nice, it felt like I was participating in our democracy, I felt like, I'm now part of the community," said Adam Moya Amador, a student at Solorio High School.

Prior to voting at the Gage Park Field House, Solorio High School Students were able to hear from some aldermanic and police district council candidates at school. But students said it's the 9 person mayor's race that has made their first voting experience difficult.

"It felt like more like a multiple choice question, kinda of," Amador said. "At the same time, I knew who I was going to vote for. It was a tough decision."

Whitney Young Senior Dalen Davis took his time, but said: "It was an easy decision on who not to vote for."

Whitney's Chris Alvarez admitted he made up his mind in the voting booth.

"I did a lot or research on all nine candidates, looked at all the benefits and flaws each one had, and I feel I was able to narrow it down to a couple," Alvarez said.

Whitney's march to the Union Park early voting site was organized by senior Hyla Car. Unfortunately, she could only observe since she doesn't turn 18 until May.

"Our voices are probably the most important, just trying to get more people to vote at a younger age," Car said.

In terms of issues, students from both high schools said violence is their number one concern.

"Safety is a big one for me," Alvarez said. "Making sure that if I go away to college and come back to the city in four years, that I have somewhere safe to live."

The students voting on Friday were working with a group called Chicago Votes. It is a non-partisan organization aimed at creating the next generation of city leaders. Chicago Votes plans to work with eight other high schools across the city before Election Day.