Eligible Alabama high school seniors prepare to vote in upcoming special election

MADISON, Ala. - Young voters tell us they are excited to realize their right to vote in the upcoming election. For those we spoke with at the Bob Jones High School voter registration drive Wednesday, it will be the first time students can head to the polls.

"It's the first election I can vote in, as I just turned 18 this week," said senior, Aija Abele. "Finally getting to fulfill my civic duty!"

Abele said she hasn't decided who she'll vote for yet.

"I'm looking for better funding for our schools as well as someone to support healthy and thriving community here in Madison," she stated.

But other qualities will help her choose, too. She said she will examine and further research Roy Moore and the allegations against him, which he continues to deny. What she finds will influence her vote, she told us.

"For me, moral ethics is definitely a huge topic that I look for in candidates. That persuades me what I feel they will vote for, or how they will run their office," she said.

As for how Moore plays into that she replied, "I'm definitely still reading up on that and trying to make a clear decision of how I feel about that."

Audrey Harper said she turned 18 on Sunday and is already registered to vote.

"Ever since last year in the Presidential election, I was so angry that all my friends could vote and I couldn't. I'm ready to do this!" she said enthusiastically.

Harper already knows how she will cast her vote.

"I am definitely voting for Doug Jones and I'm so excited that he can be my first vote," she said.

Tanner Wynn Moulton wasn't ready to decide which candidate to choose on the ballot this December, but he said he knows what he wants in a candidate and what he will look for in those on the ballot: "Really, just what the candidates believe. If I don't like what they're saying, then I'll think and look into the other person to decide between," said Moulton.

"I'm looking for someone who can help. Someone that will help other than harm," he explained.

Bob Jones SGA President, Ryan Williams, said they organized this voter registration drive so students could make their voices heard.

"We are really looking to get students involved in student issues," he stated. "I'm extremely excited about voting... It's my first opportunity to exercise my most basic right."

Williams said he hopes a lot of students make a big decision regarding the tax renewal vote before Madison County, Madison city, and Huntsville residents. School leaders from each district have stated the importance of that renewal, and the millions it would continue to fund to the schools in Madison County.

Superintendent Robby Parker told WHNT News 19 Wednesday that Madison City Schools has great schools, but some of the largest student to teacher ratios in the state. This tax renewal, he said, is critical for them to be able to continue to provide their students with the excellence they already have in place. He said its failure to pass would be "devastating."

"Hopefully it'll swing our way and help us out," said Abele, noting she would vote for the tax renewal.

"If we don't see that money come back to the school system after this election, then our school system is in serious trouble," explained Williams.

Voting is a civic duty that students say they are proud to approach.

"I'm thankful that we can make a difference that even if one vote seems insignificant in the long run, it's all the little single votes together that will make a difference," Abele encouraged.

"I hope people do what's in their heart," said Harper, "and read up on the issues."

Madison City School spokesman, John Peck, said both Madison high schools' SGA's held voter registration drives Wednesday for students who are eligible to vote.

The deadline to register or the December 12, 2017 election is November 27, 2017.

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