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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Students show low participation, interest in elections

But, some 1st-time voters think all eligible people should let their voice be heard via ballot options
Kaya Miller
In front of Reynolds Middle School, the bond lawn signs promote voting. Early voting for the bond ended on Nov. 3, but election day is today, Nov. 7. Voters can vote for each individual proposition A-D. “I think it is vital for 18-year-olds, and high schoolers in general, to be politically aware and begin voting as soon as possible,” senior Jake Kinchen said. “Local voting is arguably more important than national voting, as the day-to-day impacts are even more clear.”

Nov. 7 marks election day, the day 18-year-old students here can use their voting rights for the first time. However, in spite of key local decisions holding spots on the ballot, the school district, county and state bonds and propositions do not pull the public eye the same way primary elections and midterm elections do.

According to PEW Research, midterm election voter turnout declined to 45%. With that, local elections voter turnout is even lower. Presidential elections in general have the most participation. Young voters have proven to be low in participation but recently according to NPR have hit a record high of 30% participation. Prosper students may be following those trends, but some still intend to show up and make their voice heard.

I think it’s important for 18-year-olds to be aware and active in voting as every vote matters, and the younger generation can have a great effect on policy.”

— Caden O'Hearn, senior


“Voting for the first time feels weird, as it makes it all the more real that I am an adult now, and expected to make comprehensive decisions for society,” senior Caden O’Hearn said. “I have heard plenty of the bond but I have not seen an official source of information.”


Some seniors said they don’t feel like they know enough about the issues to take a position.

“I am registered,” senior Harper McIntosh said. “I feel like there isn’t enough information given out to 18-year-old voters about when they should be voting or what they should be voting on. I feel like distributing pamphlets at school would’ve been a great initiative.”

The main source of PISD bond information was online with graphics outlining the propositions and budget, along with answers to frequently asked questions. Also, homes received printed information through the mail. Click here to view the website. 

Voters can choose between the PISD Bond Propositions A-D as well as county and state propositions, and choose which ones they want or do not want to be passed.

Click here to see a sample ballot

“I just feel like it’s not my place to vote since it doesn’t affect my class, but I think Proposition A is a really good initiative because safety procedures will always be necessary, especially in Texas,” McIntosh said. “Also, I feel like the stadium would be a great addition to our Prosper community.”

PISD has increased safety measures by partnering with Prosper PD and FD, and organizing trainings for public safety staff and PISD staff. Proposition A will support the continuation of the measures.

“I can’t vote because I turn 18 on Nov. 30, but I would vote in favor of it (the school bond initiative),” senior Molly Hodges said. “My dad is a Town Council representative (Place 5 Jeffrey Hodges) so I hear a lot about the bond. I think the 18-year-olds should definitely educate themselves about it since this is the first opportunity they get to vote, and the bond is only positive.”

Seniors who are active in politics and eligible to vote said they have looked forward to election day.

“Voting for the first time feels like something I’ve been preparing for many years, and now it’s time to start having a say in my town, which is really exciting,” senior Jake Kinchen said. “I don’t know what the experience will be like, but I’m just ready to start exercising my rights and getting involved locally.”

PHS held a booth in October by the cafeteria for seniors to register to vote.

“For me, I feel like there has been a pretty good amount of information about the ballot,” Kinchen said. “My family left out the information sent out by the town on the proposition, and a quick search brought up the website with Dr. (Holly) Ferguson explaining the entire proposition as well as the language of the ballot.”

Kinchen became active in politics his freshman year, during the pandemic, and explained he started to think about the “why” behind his beliefs.

“Honestly, I support every single proposition in the (school district) bond,” Kinchen said. “There’s been a lot of trouble in the community over buses, technology, aging facilities, and space, all of which are being settled by the bond.”

Proposition B increases PISD technology and aims to “advance education.”

“Since I’m in the band myself, I know the struggle for the facilities,” Kinchen said. “Prosper, the most successful band out of all the PISD schools, got the least amount of valuable stadium time, and I can’t even imagine the demand for it with six high schools, each with several football teams, bands, and other groups, all needing stadium time.”

Proposition C expands the PISD athletic facilities by building a new stadium. Proposition D funds the arts facilities.

“I think everything about the bond would be good for the city,” O’Hearn said. “However, I think the price they are spending to build the stadium is a bit excessive.”

The bond funding sets a $94-million budget for the PISD stadium to support the building of an additional three new high schools.

“The amount of misinformation that I see spread through social media really distorts the views of young voters,” Kinchen said. “Becoming politically active and starting to think for yourself, not just what everyone is reposting or what your parents say, is how you become a part of a greater community.”

The different opinions concerning the bond proposals do exist throughout the community.

“I’ve seen so much negativity on social media about the stadium, the teacher pay and the taxes, but if anybody takes the necessary time to research, you really learn the truth behind a lot of the decisions our superintendent and the board are making,” Kinchen said. “This bond will not change our taxes. It will not affect teacher or staff salaries, and it will only serve to better the school system for the thousands of students that use these facilities daily.”

According to a video by Superintendant Dr. Holly Ferguson, the tax rate will stay the same because the funding will come from the new homes moving in as a result of exponential growth, added with the local businesses the growing population attracts. Also, the staff salary funding remains independent of the bond budget and goals.

“I think it is vital for 18-year-olds, and high schoolers in general, to be politically aware and begin voting as soon as possible,” Kinchen said.  “Local voting is arguably more important than national voting, as the day-to-day impacts are even more clear.”




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About the Contributor
Kaya Miller
Kaya Miller, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Kaya Miller, originally from Los Angeles, California, moved to Prosper, Texas in 2017. She attends Prosper High School as a senior. This is her third year on staff, and she is co-editor-in-chief of Eagle Nation Online and editor-in-chief of the print newspaper Eagle Nation Times. Miller is on the Prosper debate team as historian. She is also president of the Spanish Honor Society. Miller is also on the Dallas Rowing Club Juniors team. In her free time, she enjoys baking and playing guitar.
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