First-Time Voters on Election Day

Zoar Baptist Church in Central, La., was a small voting site for the presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016, which held a large amount of newly registered voters eager to exercise their right for the first time.

Two young residents of Baton Rouge agreed to answer a few questions regarding their thoughts on the election, and share their first time experiencing election day as a registered voter.

Morgan Rozas, 24, said that this was her first time ever entering a polling booth to cast her own vote, being that she had no interest in registering for the 2012 election in which, the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, ran against his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.

“This is the first time I have ever really cared about the presidential race, to be honest,” said Rozas, “I feel like there was so much more public controversy present in this race, and that my voting really might make a difference because I actually wanted to.”

With social media playing such a large role in Donal Trump and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, it was hard to escape forming an opinion on their opposing political views, even if politics are something many lack interest in.

Rozas proceeded to explain that, “The way America is being run, and has been run for the past 8 years, is not working, there has to be change; and Trump’s ideas, as unconventional as they seem, might be just what the U.S. needs to get out of the sinkhole that we are currently in.”

While answering a few questions on her political stance, it came to other voter’s attention that she was a “first-timer”, as one man in line to vote described.

“Many starting cheering and yelling earlier when I first walked in, I was waiting for someone to start ringing a cowbell”, she exclaimed as she considered this day a memorable one.

Another young woman who had just exited the voting booth, Caroline Wright, 19, said that this was also her first time voting, but she registered the day she turned 18 and this day was long awaited.

“I have always felt that no matter who is running, it is my civic duty to be informed and vote for my country,” said Wright.

“I personally identify myself as more of a socialist, so ‘I am with her’,” she laughed, “and I feel like this election really will change our nation regardless of who ends up winning the election. Obama has done great things, and although Hillary is a Democrat, I think her political tactics will differ a lot from his.”

Wright seemed to be very avid as far as politics go, and although Rozas was more interested in the current election, the passion for the success of our country is very evident in these women.

Young voters often lack interest in the depth of the presidential election, and sometimes do not view voting as “civic duty” in which they can or even want to make a difference. So it is insightful and encouraging to see how this race alone has pushed young adults, the future of our country, to exercise their rights for the first time.

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