McNicholas seniors choose their side

From the editor and adviser: While major newspapers around the country are endorsing candidates for presidency and other political offices on the ballot on Nov. 8, it is not the job of a student-run newspaper to do so.  The student journalists of The McNicholas Milestone are reporting on the current election because it is important that they report on a major event affecting their audience. The political stories published under the Milestone title do not reflect the opinions of the entire journalism staff or McNicholas High School nor should they be interpreted in any way as an endorsement of a particular candidate.

By Mackenzie Wagner, David Waterman, and Ellie White

As the election approaches, voters are faced with a choice. The choice of who will become the next president of the United States. The four main choices are, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Donald Trump. At McNicholas High School, a number of seniors will be eligible to vote on Nov. 8. Not all seniors agree on which candidate is most qualified, much less on who people should vote for. However some seniors are ready to get out there and vote.

The Milestone surveyed prospective senior voters on their choices for the 2016 election. In addition to the survey, senior voters were also asked to interview and take the ISideWith political quiz, which determines which candidate most closely aligns with their views and ideas. The ISideWith quiz separates the candidate’s personality and scandals from their policy, and is a tool voters can use to examine policies ranging from foreign policy, to gun control, to healthcare, to women’s rights, and more.

McNicholas senior Eric Dill strongly believes that anyone who can vote, should. “By not voting, you are part of the problem. You are essentially throwing away your right as a citizen,” Dill said. With disapproval ratings for Clinton and Trump rising at steady levels, greater levels of disenfranchised voters become a problem. Another issue that Eric felt America was facing was the fact that we are a country run by politicians rather than a leader. “If you look at (George) Washington, he was, more of a leader than a politician, which was what we need right now,” Dill said.

After taking the quiz, Dill, who aligned 99% with Jill Stein, still felt that he was going to vote for Hillary Clinton. “I wasn’t really surprised by the quiz. I went through my Jill phase, but eventually moved on and reasoned that in the two party system, especially in the presidential election, voting third party is too often ineffective,” Dill said. Five out of the six seniors interviewed were not surprised by their results from the ISideWith quiz.

Senior Hannah Straub is voting for policy views. “I do not like Trump as a person, but he’s a very successful businessman.” Straub’s results show Trump as her third most similar candidate in her views. “I was surprised that I sided with Jill Stein on most issues,” she said.

This election has been a rollercoaster from scandal after scandal, to attacks on the Democratic and Republican headquarters. The American people, especially first-time voters, are facing a difficult choice this election season. However an important thing to remember is, “that every vote matters,” Dill said, so his message is to get out there and vote this Nov. 8. No matter who is sworn in as the next president, they will have important decisions to make. Americans can use tools like the ISideWith quiz to discern what candidate matches their policy best.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the country will decide whether the next president of the United States will be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Many of McNicholas’ seniors will cast their vote for the first time in a national election and are using the 2016 election quiz at to determine the better choice based on issues and not personalities. Photo courtesy of

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