I can’t vote, but I can still change the future


Sarah Cassell

Keeping morality high is a priority in all campaigns, which is why the Warren office got a cardboard cut out of her. It makes a fun conversation piece too.

Megan Dunn, Reporter

A long line of public service and doing what’s right is in my “genes” one could say. I’ve been advocating and volunteering since before I was born. When my mom was eight months pregnant with me she was going around my neighborhood petitioning for street lights, while also terrifying my grandma. 

Some of my earliest memories are making tie blankets with my entire family to give to kids for Christmas. I think the first official time I volunteered on a campaign was in 2017, for Monica Kurth in a special house election.

2020 as many of us know is a presidential election year. With our current political situation I decided that it was my time to volunteer for a campaign I believe in. I can’t take another repeat of 2016, a year that I was “too young” to help and campaign. 

Ricker Hill in winter. If you are familiar with this area of Davenport you know how horrible it is in winter, if not, imagine a country highway with hills, no shoulder, and still snowy from the previous snow. 

When I was sent to Ricker Hill to canvas (knock on doors for a political campaign), I had a heart attack. While driving I wondered why I subjected myself to this, but then I talked to one sweet lady and remembered why I volunteer for a political campaign. Because our future depends on it.

Every presidential election year, offices for campaigns pop up. Twenty-somethings fresh out of college come to Iowa to work for the campaign of their dream, knocking on doors, making calls, and organizing events. 

People like myself work extremely hard for others to slam the door and say, “I am not interested.”

What are you not interested in? Our democracy? Our next president? Our future?

All of this work is for the caucus, which is on Feb. 3, 2020.  Many working nine months (or more) of hard work for one make or break moment. The moment of truth. 

In Iowa there are 1,681 precincts where communities will gather to elect a nominee for each party. Forty-nine delegates are up for grabs. Iowa is most notable because it is the first caucus in the country, and helps candidates decide if they will continue on or drop out based on their performance

These caucuses and primaries continue until June, and then there is a convention for each party that decides who the official nominee/candidate is. The Republican convention is Aug. 24-27, 2020 and the Democratic convention is July 13-16, 2020. 

Some high schoolers are not aware of the caucuses, and that they may be eligible to participate. 

If you are 18, or will be 18 by Nov. 3, 2020 you are eligible to participate in the caucus. 

The caucuses may seem intense, but are relatively easy. You must be a registered voter (you can register online or in person at your caucus site), and register to the party in which you choose to caucus with, which you can also do at your caucus site. Just try to get there earlier!

The doors open at six for every caucus site (Republican or Democrat) and if you are in line past seven, you will not be allowed in. 

From there, if you know what candidate you like, you go to their corner. If undecided, you go to an undecided spot, and people will chat with you and try to convince you to caucus for that candidate. 

Every precinct works differently depending on how many delegates they award, but there is a general threshold that the candidate has to meet in order to be viable. After that, if your candidate is not viable you will have fifteen minutes to realign with a different candidate or try to get people into your corner. 

At the end of the night, delegates are awarded, with the Democrats since there is such a large number of candidates that there may be more than one realignment.

This schedule may vary precinct to precinct depending on your party and the precinct chair who can allow more time. 

The caucus is a crucial part of picking a nominee, and it is disheartening that people either are not interested or do not come because they are undecided. 

Feb. 3 is the time when you get to show your support for your candidate, and show that this person needs to be the nominee. Even if they are not viable, you feel accomplished knowing you stood up for the person you believe in. Now is the time to take a risk. 

You can too, regardless of age. You can find an office for your candidate somewhere in Davenport and they will set you up with ways you can help. This weekend is crucial since it is the last weekend before the caucus. 

I can’t personally vote or caucus this 2020 election, that’s why I spend time volunteering on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign.

Just because I can’t vote does not mean I can not change my future in a positive way.