After spending four years on her high school’s speech and debate team, 17-year-old Delaney Krieger is trying to fill a need she sees in Gilbert as the General Election approaches.
So the Gilbert teen, a senior at Arizona College Prep – Erie in Chandler Unified, has launched: time-to-vote.com to promote knowledgeable voting by young people – a subject she is passionate about.
Delaney said what she learned in speech and debate about the nation’s political process enabled her to see deficiencies.
“I started to think, what is one of the largest issues relating to people my age? This was when I came across a statistic representing ages 18-28 having the lowest voter turnout,” Delaney explained.
“I was shocked since these are the exact individuals that are our future and possess the power to make a change,” she continued. “So, to put it simply, my first goal was to just increase voter turnout.”
Through research of organizations with a similar mission, Krieger learned about advocating for voter turnout – but that didn’t seem sufficient.
While she believes that goal is important, she also feels too many elected officials don’t necessarily seem to accurately represent the views of people her age share.
That presented a larger problem that she set out to solve.
“I continued to do more research as to why my demographic isn’t going to the polls,” she said.
“I conducted informal surveys, spoke with some of my friends and others and found that one of the major inhibiting factors for people my age was that they are not current with the issues.”
She also found an overwhelming majority of young people don’t watch the news or even do their own research, trusting instead in social media posts.
“Very few people my age want to sit down and read an article written with the rhetoric and word choice for older generations,” Delaney said. “It takes too much effort to try to conceptualize and understand the history and political context behind the articles written by news sources.”
Time-to-Vote.com is dedicated to presenting information in relatable terms so potential voters can understand the ballot issues and identify candidates who will best represent them.
Krieger feels it’s key to offer an unbiased source that spells out facts without editorials and name-calling and her website explores the history behind topics, simplifying major issues into digestible chunks.
Her hope is to entice young voters to gain wisdom which readies them to vote – and makes them excited to do so.
“It seems as though there are very few sources that properly present pure media and state only facts without having a slant in some direction. Additionally, many sources that are unbiased ultimately are written as scholarly articles or use rhetoric that is difficult to grasp.
“With Time to Vote’s focus on educating young adults, I feel as though it fills both voids.”
Delaney is currently focused on writing articles with titles like “The Candidate That Wins the Most Votes from the People Wins the Election Right? Not Necessarily.”
And she plans to continue to explore topics that could figure heavily into campaigns over the next two months.
Delaney plans to continue her site and add new contributors when she goes to college, where she aspires to study business, law or even marine biology.
“I believe it is important to have an impartial way to discuss the election and political issues with no bias because of the polarized nature of today’s society,” Delaney said.