Today is National Voter Registration Day, so I figured this is a good time to share my experiences with voting. It’s now been eight years since I turned 18 and registered myself to vote. In that time I’ve never missed my opportunity to vote in a presidential election and only rarely missed other elections when necessary. It’s always been something that feels just so important to me. When I was young, my mom would take me with her to the polling locations when she cast her own vote (I remember being amused sometimes when this would be my school). Since then it’s just stuck with me as a habit I don’t ever want to shake. I’m aware that I come from a place of privilege in this and that unfortunately voting is not the easy process it is for me to everyone, but that makes it feel so important to not squander this. It certainly should be easy for all, but that’s a topic for another time.
My first presidential election was voting for our current leader Barack Obama back in 2008. Never before had I felt the amount of excitement for politics I had during this election. He was a voice of hope and of positive change for our country and I threw myself into his cause, joining our students for Obama group on campus. Our primary objective more than anything was to get other people registered to vote. I sat our table for hours asking students as they passed by if they were registered and if not, would they do so now? There was only a simple form between them and having a part in our political process. I joined other canvassing students going door to door through nearby neighborhoods asking those who actually answered if they were registered or what we can do to help them prepare for their vote. It was such a learning experience that has stayed with me all these years. When he won the election, it was an emotional night made all the more significant because I knew that I took part in history. Our first African American president, and now we have opportunity to make history once again with this election.
Nowadays I’m not especially active the way I was back then as a student invigorated by her first election, but I still vote. Every time that election day comes around, I find a way to reach that polling booth and it’s something I can’t imagine forgoing now. If you’re reading this, you should vote too. This election in particular is unlike any other, which means more than ever that your vote can and will have an impact. So all of this to say, VOTE. Please. Registering is so much easier than it’s ever been in the past, so I will link a few of the ways below. I am not in any way affiliated with any of these groups, so if you have questions it may be best to get in touch with them!
HelloVote – Through this, you can get registered to vote by answering questions via text message. Attached as we all are to our phones, it can’t get easier than that. Enter your number at their page or text HELLO to 384-387 to get the process started.
I Will Vote – Simply enter the information and you will be all set in minutes.
US Voter Registration – The official voter registration page for the United States government.
Featured image in this post credited to GoVote.org.