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POV: My First Time Voting

By: Uri Kruger (12th Grade)

Having been born the day before the first anniversary of 9/11, I turned 18 just a few weeks shy of the 2020 Presidential Election. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, my family planned on voting by mail as a safety precaution. As the weeks progressed and more and more questions and fears were raised about the possibility of mail in ballots not getting counted, we decided to surrender our ballots and vote early and in person. 

I don’t affiliate myself with any particular party. I care about various issues that fall on both sides of the aisle. It was my hope to learn more about the candidates during the debates, however that didn’t quite pan out exactly as I had hoped. Sadly, I was only able to tolerate watching half of one presidential debate, as it was simply too agonizing to sit through. The current state of affairs of the political climate leaves a lot to be desired. So, I opted to do my own due diligence and read what the fact checkers wrote about after the debates to determine the real information on the issues at hand.

Voting for the first time felt so surreal. I grew up with the idea that voting was something reserved for adults, and finally submitting my own vote makes me realize that I’m basically one. This election symbolizes the beginning of adulthood for me. This is the first of hopefully many elections where I’ll be able to voice my opinions and help make positive change in the United States. 

In the end, I am glad that I voted in person instead of mailing in my ballot. It was a pretty big deal to me and I did get a nice round of applause for being a new voter at the polls. I know that being able to vote is a right that one should never take for granted. If you don’t exercise your right to vote, then you essentially have no voice in the way things unfold, both for your country and your future. I hope that, regardless of whoever wins this race, that the next four years will be a time that our country can mend and be stronger together.

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