Use your voice intelligently (Opinion)

By screenshot

This chart from is a good way to check biases on media outlets and see if they are reliable.

Iwalani Campbell, guest writer

This year’s presidential election was a big deal, pitting incumbent Donald Trump against Joe Biden. Although many students can not vote yet. they must take away the energy and feeling from this election. The next presidential election, four years away, is a long time to forget the desire of voting we had this year. I urge fellow students to be active in all government decisions even when it isn’t a trend.  Each student should be a voter, a knowledgeable voter. In this era of information overload, it can be difficult to differentiate facts from opinions.

The first thing you do when voting is find background information for candidates.  Make sure to look at many sites to ensure there is no bias from either the left or right. By doing so, you can have an open mind and make rational decisions. AdFontMedia’s chart is a good way to check biases on media outlets and see if they are reliable.

When searching the internet for information, use trusted sources, not simply the most readily available ones i.e TikTok or Twitter. Keep in mind that social media uses algorithms to show you what you want and like. People will get confirmation biases if they do not look outside their bubble.  If you do use social media as a trusted source, always remember to do your research.

Additionally, if candidates are already politicians, make sure they are committed to their word by checking which laws they passed. Actions speak louder than words and by tracking their votes you can tell what side they are actually for or if they are just in the pockets of lobbyists. Of course, long-time politicians may have bills or votes that they regret. You should also take into account that time passes and people can learn and progress.

Lastly, we all know how important presidential elections are but we should not overlook other elections. We have three parts in our government, the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. For all the components of the government to work effectively, we need to vote on not just the president. The legislative branch has the power to make a president a lame-duck or override a veto. The legislative branch also has the power to approve nominations, impeach the president and control the budget. In Hawaii, we have a very similar set up as well. The executive branch is the governor of the legislative branch made up of representatives, and there is the judicial branch with both lower and upper courts. If you don’t vote in state elections, your voice cannot be heard at the closest level of impact. State government affects us more than we think. They are in charge of large projects like rail, TMT, budget, etc. The officials who run the state government have a lot of responsibility and power. Being active in state politics can also be writing testimony. You can use to follow bills you might want to submit testimony for.

Many of the students at McKinley High School may not be able to vote any time soon. However, Hawaii law allows 16-years-olds to preregister, so once you turn 18 the paperwork is out of the way and you can vote.

Please keep in mind the ramifications and responsibility of voting.  Always remember to determine a fact from an opinion.