How students have gotten involved in the midterm elections.

In December of 2017, West High alum Zach Wahls ’09 launched his campaign for the Iowa Senate, District 37 midterm election. Being only a graduate student at the time of its launch, he says his success in the primaries was due to tremendous support from both college and high school students alike.

“I believe it’s critical to involve young people more generally in our politics, precisely because these decisions have such long-term impacts on us and our futures,” Wahls said.

With the help of his volunteers, Wahls made over 10,000 voter contacts during the primary election. Many of these canvassers were high school students such as West High’s Nikul Patel ’20, who went door-to-door to promote Wahls.

“I helped out because [Wahls] wants to stand up for people who can’t speak for themselves such as different minority groups like LGBTQ and racial groups,” Patel said.

Another student involved is recent graduate Nick Pryor ’18.  Since July, Pryor has worked as the organizing fellow for the Wahls campaign, organizing canvassing trips across the state. He believes that there is a way for all students to be involved in the election.

“Campaigns are always in need of people to make calls or knock [on] doors,” Pryor said.  “Although I strongly encourage everyone to at least give door knocking a chance—it really is the best way to connect with voters—if you go down to a local campaign office, they’ll always have something that needs doing.”

Wahls decided to run for office because he felt many groups of Iowans were not being adequately advocated for by the current government. He realized to see change he would have to advocate for it himself.Our state is currently facing an all-hands-on-deck moment that will define the future of Iowa for generations to come,” Wahls said.