Ventura High students on voting for the first time


Ballots had to be submitted by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo by: Caroline Marsden

Caroline Marsden

 18 year old students who had the opportunity to vote in the 2022 primary election gave their takes on the first time voter experience 

On Tuesday, June 7, 2022 the Ventura County primary election was held. Ballots had to be turned into polling boxes and in-person voting was held at spots in Ventura County until 8 p.m. On the ballot was California governor, county leadership positions such as Sheriff, and propositions like A and B.  Freshly 18 year old Ventura High seniors had the opportunity to vote for the first time in an election. 

Voting seniors in AP Literature were interviewed. They all  had various reasons on why they chose to vote. Senior Rebecca Locher was eager to vote. “Well one, I am 18 so I figured I could, and two, I figured I should start as early as possible, exercising my right to vote and trying to make a difference,” said Locher. 

Other students had similar ideas. Senior Charlie Cook said, “I voted because I turned 18 and I wanted to feel democracy on my fingertips. I also believe that you can’t complain unless you vote.” 

Senior Carmen Ibarra said, “I voted because I think it is really important to take part in all these elections. They actually do make a difference so I wanted to be able to say that I participate in voting and elections because these people are going to make big decisions for our county and state and country, so I think it is a really important thing to do as a citizen.”

Senior Emily Ball wanted to improve the low voter turnout. “I think it is important for people to vote and I heard that there was already a low turnout in California so I wanted to go help the stats for that,” said Ball. 

Ibarra and Ball voted by mail, with the aid of their families. “I voted by mail. It was a pretty good process, my mom helped me go through the ballot and look through each candidate. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, it was pretty self explanatory,” said Ball. 

“I just voted at home with my mom and my sister so it was really nice having them guide me and help me understand who I was voting for and what it meant. My sister provided a book where all the potential candidates had their campaign statements and what they were striving for and what they were working for. I just read and saw what I felt more aligned with. My family was happy that I was voting,” said Ibarra. 

Locher and Cook voted in person. “It was very exciting, I was completely unprepared, but it was fun. I did it in person. Well, I had to go and register because I needed to register in person to switch my signature, it was a whole thing. Then they just gave me my ballot and I did the whole bubbling in and I put it in a box,” said Locher. 

Cook said, “I voted in person. It was honestly really good, they were super helpful, they were really fast, they looked at my name, I actually registered a little bit late too but they fixed it for me. Honestly it did feel really fun, everyone shook my hand and was like, ‘good job.’” 

Senior Wyatt Mojo had a unique in person voting experience. “I went to the Christian Science Church because it was the closest voting place to my house and I was in a hurry but don’t worry, I came prepared, I brought my voting information, studied up on everything, studied up on all the candidates. I went in there and they were just so excited, it was my first time voting and all these sweet old ladies cheered me on and gave me multiple stickers because they said it was a really important time and I agreed. But I really did get the full experience because this woman with a MAGA hat and just full MAGA merch came in and they asked her to sign in and she told them that she would not be signing in, rather, she would be spectating and she was throwing a little bit of a fit and they tried to remove her but they were sweet old ladies, so they didn’t really do much and it was like an hour till closing, so they weren’t going to remove her. When I was voting, she kept yelling things at me and I was just trying to fill out my ballot, and she screamed at me that ’I looked like the kind of p*ssy that would vote for Gavin Newsom’ and I did right after, so that was my voting experience. A great time overall,” said Mojo. 

Among the seniors who were interviewed, support on proposition A and B was unanimous. Measures A and B involve environmental issues in Ventura County such as oil drilling. When asked if she felt strongly about any candidate or proposition, Locher responded, “Definitely vote yes on A and B to protect the water.” 

Cook said, “I was really pro-voting yes on A and B.” 

Ball said, “There weren’t any candidates I was super passionate about, there were some I was very strongly not going to vote for, but I did vote yes on prop A and B. I think it is important to keep the water in our area clean even though it could potentially raise energy prices.”  

Mojo who is president of the Greener World Action Team said, “I was really excited to vote on A and B, yes on A and B.” 

Ibarra said, “I felt passionate about voting yes on measures A and B because I know it has to do with drilling and I care about the environment we live in, especially locally. I knew that those would make a big impact so, I know there was a lot of awareness about that recently and it is a big debate in our community, so I felt really good about saying yes to measures A and B.” 

Although the other students did not share their specific opinions on candidates, Mojo and Cook did. “I did vote for one of our student’s dad’s, Eric Nasarenko, so that was fun. They [The Nasarenkos]  are a really sweet family and I know that he is good at what he does. I know that if he can raise a child that is as awesome as Juliet, then he can do a good job for our town,” said Mojo. 

Cook said, “ I voted for Bill Ayub for sheriff because I heard the other one was a freakazoid…I voted for Gavin Newsom because he is really good at his job and I like his policy about hybrid and electric cars. In California, I was pretty confident, most of the ballot was democratic candidates. I’m sure they would all do a good job as well. I just don’t see a point in changing things because he is doing well now.” 

Finalized election results will be announced next week.