Former Hill News Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Hudak ’21 shares her voting experience in the Pennsylvania midterms


Elizabeth Hudak ’21 poses with former president Barack Obama at the John Fetterman rally in Pittsburg. Photo sourced from: Elizabeth Hudak ’21.

Elizabeth Hudak ’21 has always been passionate about communicating the importance of true democracy and advocating for being an active voter.  As one of the two Editors in Chief during the 2020-2021 school year, Hudak led The Hill News’s 2020 Presidential Election Coverage, which won second place in the election reporting category of the Best in Show Awards at the fall 2020 National High School Journalism Conference

In speaking with Hudak, she explained her excitement about being a first-time voter.  “Voting is right, but it’s also a privilege that we are granted. For many, it’s something that hasn’t always been given to people who look like us. As a young adult, for me and for a lot of my peers, it is becoming increasingly clear that these politicians are responsible for making the decisions that will guide our lifetimes and how we, our friends and family, and neighbors will be able to live. Ultimately, voting is a step towards taking care of each other,” Hudak said.  

For this current midterm election, many voters are focused on specific topics when considering candidates, ranging from the economy to border safety to abortion rights. Hudak expressed that she is focused on abortion rights, education funding, student loans, and anti-gun violence– topics that she explained were relevant to her current stage of life and values.  

“The reality is that the political atmosphere is really volatile right now and a lot of what is at stake could have tangible effects on our lives. Although this tangibility may be a bit more obvious right now, I think this feeling is an important one to remember going forward. Climate change, workers’ and voters’ rights are also behind who I voted for,” Hudak concluded.

With this election, Hudak believes that many issues facing everyday voters are best covered by the Democratic slate of candidates, who were both victorious in their respective races.  

“Pennsylvania, as usual, is at the center of the election in many ways and the way we use our voices will have a real impact on which way our government swings. As a Pennsylvanian going to a state-funded school in Pennsylvania, I’m truly in the thick of it. I voted for Fetterman and Shapiro, simply because, though they may not completely align with my ideals, they are the most sound insurance against the abortion ban and keeping our country moving forward. I also voted for Summer Lee for the House, a very exciting local candidate here in Pittsburgh. Besides her progressive policy, she is, unlike Fetterman or Shapiro, a woman of color, and that feels good to see on my ballot,” explained Hudak.

Hudak, now a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, changed her voter registration so she could vote at her school and the district. Despite being more convenient for her to vote, Hudak also thinks it is necessary for her to actively take part in her new community. “It kind of served a dual purpose because it motivated me to educate myself about local politics and the community. I think it’s incredibly important to have a stake in whatever place you are living in, temporary or not,” Hudak said.

In the end, Hudak urges everyone at Hill to take the opportunity of voting into consideration. She explains that participating in democracy and doing it in a responsible and well-researched way is a step towards becoming an adult. It is something young voters should all be proud of.