My first time voting

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My first time voting

I voted stickers represent you voting as an American citizen. Many people wear these stickers for the entire election day.

I voted stickers represent you voting as an American citizen. Many people wear these stickers for the entire election day.

photo via Flickr under the creative commons license

I voted stickers represent you voting as an American citizen. Many people wear these stickers for the entire election day.

photo via Flickr under the creative commons license

photo via Flickr under the creative commons license

I voted stickers represent you voting as an American citizen. Many people wear these stickers for the entire election day.

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Voting, democracy, and freedom go together like red, white, and blue. Values possessed by candidates are voted on every two years by the American people, with millions waiting to see if their candidate won. This year, for the first time ever, I was able to vote in an election, the midterm election. Though this may not be as exciting or as flashy as the presidential election, it is still important to take part in, as it dictates who possesses the power in the Senate and the House.

Pre-Election: Many politicians called me, asking for my vote, as well as asking if I was going to vote, or even if I was eighteen yet. The candidate to do this most often was former Sartell gym teacher and Mayor Joe Perske. I received no less than five phone calls from him and his campaign, and it was becoming a bit annoying to the say least near election day. Other candidates also called and sent me mail, such as Representative Tom Emmer, and Minnesota House Member Jeff Howe. Compared to Joe Perske, it was nearly nothing in terms of their interest in my voting. Another thing I was bombarded with was people telling me to vote, which at the beginning seemed like a good sentiment, but as time progressed, became more of an annoyance than anything. Before election day, I probably was probably told to vote 3+ times, but election day is when it really started ramping up. On election day, my social media feed was covered by individuals, corporations and political advertisements telling me to go vote. I was at about my wit’s end with that sort of campaigning. In all reality, it turned me off to the prospect of voting more than it made me want to go to the polls.

Election Day: November 6th rolled around, and I knew who I was voting for. I had diligently done my research on most candidates, and I knew their stances on issues that mattered to me. After school, I decided to head to the polls and complete my responsibility as an American citizen. The polls seemed daunting at first and a bit alien. The parking lot at Celebration Church was packed to the gills when I parked, but nevertheless, I pulled into a spot and headed into the polling center. As I walked in, I was faced with a short line, with many people all ready voting. I got to the front of the line, to which I was asked for my first and last name, as well as my address. I had already pre-registered, so I was clear to vote after receiving my ballot. The voting process for me only took about five minutes, and I was able to turn my ballot into the machine. It all went swimmingly, and I received my “I voted” sticker. I felt like I was contributing to the political conversation by voting.

Post-Election: As I was driving home, I felt positive that I was making a difference in our country’s democracy. I felt a feeling of fulfillment and pride, that even if my chosen candidate did not win, that I had made a little bit of a difference, and that I showed where my values lie. Even though not everyone I voted for won, some people I voted for were in very hotly contested races, and I helped their cause make it closer.

Overall, voting is a very positive experience, besides all the negative things that may happen before it, such as being hounded to vote and to vote for specific people. Voting is a necessary right in our democracy, and every adult has a right to have their opinion heard, and it can be heard by heading to the polls and voting.

My first time voting was very nerve-racking. There were long lines and a lot of elderly people there.”

— Luke Jones, Senior

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