First-time Madison County voter disappointed in lack of third-party presidential options

The first vote Reeve Jarrell casts for president will come in an election many political scholars believe will be among the most consequential in American history.

Jarrell, 18, an Anderson High School senior, said she has been looking forward to becoming a registered voter because she’s grown up with the belief that making her voice heard at the polls is a fundamental part of democracy.

“I think it’s really important,” Jarrell said during a break between classes. “If you want to change things, then you need to vote and be educated about what the candidates stand for.”

She said she’s less than excited about choosing between the presumptive nominees of the two major parties, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, in November. On one hand, in her opinion, Trump presided over a robust economy during his presidency prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, she added, “I want a president who treats people with respect, and I feel like Trump is really not that guy.”

Jarrell is pursuing a certified nursing assistant (CNA) license through Anderson’s D26 Career Center. She plans to attend Purdue University, or possibly a school in Illinois, to study nursing.

She said gun control is a prominent issue in her mind, and although she believes more can be done to enforce existing laws, she believes firearms are still too easily accessed by those who are deemed mentally unstable.

“It’s a really hard issue to try to solve, because criminals aren’t going to follow the laws anyway,” Jarrell said. “But I also feel like I do think guns should be harder to obtain.

“I think that it’s really sad that me and a lot of my classmates have to come to school and be scared of what’s going on around us,” she added.

Jarrell said that in a time of intense political polarization, it’s disappointing that third-party candidates aren’t given more of a voice.

“I think a lot of times, both parties can’t agree on some things, so I think that a third party would help bring us together,” she said. “I feel like having separate parties causes a big divide in our society.”

This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin.