Most can't make their vote count just yet, but that didn't stop Dapto High School's senior students putting Shellharbour's state election hopefuls to the test on Wednesday.
The electorate's Labor MP Anna Watson joined candidates Mark Jones (Liberal) and Peter Moran (Greens) for a political forum, which was run as part of the school's "Nurturing Democracy" program.
Developed by principal Andrew FitzSimons and deputy principal Darcy Moore, the program encourages students to take an active role in the community by knowing the country's democratic process.
Vice-captain Gretel Turner, who chaired the forum, turns 18 just in time to pick up a ballot paper at the March 28 poll.
"I'm the only one in the SRC that will be voting for the state election," Gretel said.
"I didn't have much knowledge prior to this event, but now I have a clear understanding on what each person represents and what their party represents, so it will make it easier for me to vote."
Fellow vice-captain Reece Minett took the chance to quiz the candidates about youth unemployment.
"That's a big issue for a lot of younger people, there's a lot of young people without jobs," Reece said.
Despite not being able to vote yet, the 17-year-old said political knowledge would be beneficial.
"So you're not just throwing your vote around randomly with whoever has the best name or who your parents are voting for," he said.
School captain Corey Dick-McGuigan welcomed the "behind the scenes" insight the forum provided.
The 16-year-old asked the candidates what the ideological and physical differences of each party were and said he was happy with the responses.
"Liberal and Labor seem to oppose each other quite a bit, which I think is fantastic - they both have fantastic views and different opinions," Corey said.
"The Greens are also very good; focusing on the environmental view of things, as well as economic."