Voting Through An 18 Year Old’s Perspective

Voting+Through+An+18+Year+Old%27s+Perspective

Siannah Santos, Editor in Chief

When I turned 18 a little over a month ago, I was most excited not for the new found freedom I received, but rather the fact that I was going to be able to vote in one of the most important elections of my lifetime. I am not the only teenager who felt so highly of turning 18, because if we look at data taken, more young people and 18 year olds were registered to vote in this election than any other. To be a part of this group of amazing young people made me feel as though I was doing something right. 

Obviously as one would be, I was lost with how to begin my voting process. Luckily, all throughout my social media, there were many resources on how to register, and how to check your status. You can really tell the magnitude of this election because even social media platforms are using their power to educate young people on voting, and we can even argue that they are a huge part of the reason why the voter turnout is what it is today. I was able to register and check my status, and I was all set for November 3rd.

I had a lot of impending anxiety leading up to election day. While I knew it was going to be impossible to know who won on November 3rd, I kept on doubting whether people like me who are young, a part of the Latinx community, and female identifying, would show up and make their voices heard at the polls. It starts with us to make changes and vote for the candidate who is going to bring light back to those who were darkened these past four years. But I took all that emotion built up into me and made sure I left it on my ballot.

Overall, the whole voting experience was easy sailing. It was straightforward and organized, and was definitely easy for someone who has never done it before to understand. I was thankful for all the poll workers who were working diligently and quickly to ensure a smooth voting experience. While some may think we are just voting for a presidential candidate when we fill in our ballot, just like how I thought, we also have to vote for state officials as well as upcoming laws. This is something that I did not know about, and I am sure a lot of first time voters did not. If I would have known, I would have studied everyone’s views and see how they connect with my own. But I had some knowledge, and I felt that I was able to make a wise choice with the handful of TV commercials I had seen prior.

That night I was glued to the TV, watching news networks such as CNN and NBC. From the start, it was looking good for my candidate Joe Biden. He had a strong start, garnering a lot of the states on the east coast. I was already beginning to fill with hope, because as time went on, Joe Biden’s lead increased. Donald Trump did end up catching up, gaining key states such as Florida and Texas, but not enough to pass Biden. It was an intense race, but as I am writing this now, I am filled with gratitude because Joe Biden is now President-Elect. I felt in that moment, that my vote truly mattered, and it was why we had such a historic win. But actually, this was capable because of all of the young first time voters like myself, who let their voices be heard and showed their emotions on their ballots, and I think we need to give ourselves credit for making a huge change for the future of the United States.