Students head out to vote, create group
to encourage election participation

As+the+2020+presidential+election+nears%2C+sophomore+Neena+Sidhu+has+placed+an+%22I+Voted%22+sticker+on+her+laptop.+Another+student%2C+senior+Cole+Kindiger%2C+has+created+the+non-profit+group+called+%22Schools+of+Thought%2C%22+which+tries+to+get+students+involved+in+the+political+process.+++%22I+think+it%27s+important+to+vote+because+we+have+that+opportunity+here+in+the+U.S.%2C%22+Sidhu+said.+%22People+should+take+full+advantage+of+that+to+create+a+better+and+safer+environment+for+every+single+person.%22

Neena Sidhu

As the 2020 presidential election nears, sophomore Neena Sidhu has placed an “I Voted” sticker on her laptop. Another student, senior Cole Kindiger, has created the non-profit group called “Schools of Thought,” which tries to get students involved in the political process. “I think it’s important to vote because we have that opportunity here in the U.S.,” Sidhu said. “People should take full advantage of that to create a better and safer environment for every single person.”

Gabriella Winans, Reporter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Record numbers of new voters have already taken their opportunity to go out and vote, and first-time-voter Cole Kindiger and his companions could be part of the reason young voters are making their opinions known here in Collin County.

As early voting comes to an end today, Oct. 30, and the scheduled Nov. 3 election day nears, Kindiger and the members of the “Schools of Thought” group, have been working to get more eligible students involved in the political process.

“I voted for the first time in my life last week at Prosper City Hall, and it was a super easy process. It took five minutes,” Kindiger said. “The process itself was very straightforward.”

States are seeing an increase in ballots after Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the newest Supreme Court justice on Oct. 27. With younger adults having the least turnout at the polls, students such as Kindiger and senior Dempsey Jones said they believe that students placing their votes make a difference.

As we’ve worked with PHS administration to push through a voting initiative, I’ve seen some students start to realize that voting is one of the only ways we actually have agency and a voice in the world around us.”

— senior Cole Kindiger

“I’ve started a non-profit called Schools of Thought, which tries to get students involved in the political process, and I’ve seen how many people feel like their vote doesn’t matter,” Kindiger said. “But, as we’ve worked with PHS administration to push through a voting initiative, I’ve seen some students start to realize that voting is one of the only ways we actually have agency and a voice in the world around us.”

Through his non-profit group, Kindiger hopes to help students learn more about the voting process.

“I think that early voting is a great way to show your rights as an American citizen,” Jones said. “I have already voted, and it’s really nerve-wracking knowing that I’m actually making a difference in my own country.”

As many of her own students go out and vote, government teacher Irish Mahan said she wants students to participate in the election process.

“One of the most important rights we have as citizens is the right to vote,” Mahan said. “I’m extremely happy to hear the United States is having record early voting turnouts, and hope that our student will leave our school understanding the value of their vote, and that they will exercise this important right throughout their lifetime.”

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Through his non-profit group, Kindiger said he hopes to help students learn more about the voting process.

“As a first-time voter, I’ve had a lot of questions about how/when/where to vote,” Kindiger said. “But, sites like ‘sos.texas.gov‘ have a lot of good info about how to make a plan to vote.”

Voting centers for Collin County can be found here, and the “Schools of Thought” Instagram can be found at @schools_of_thought.

“I only wish more younger people cared enough to vote,” Kindiger said. “I can’t even begin to express how lucky I feel to be able to vote without any difficulty or anxiety in a country, and even a state, where voting is becoming increasingly difficult.”