Happy Election Day everyone! To commemorate the day, and arguably one of the most important elections of our lifetime, the Life section decided to make a roundtable of their plans for voting. Hopefully, these will inspire you to go out and vote, if you haven’t already.
Lesly Nerette, CC
Those who are close to me know that I was blessed with a voice just as everyone else, but it is how I use my voice which makes it all the more better. We often participate in various media events such as the Video Music Awards or the Grammys, but what about when it is time to speak up for America?
Whether you speak up verbally or nonverbally, this year’s election is the most important. While you may feel as though you are one in 7 billion, your actions can move mountains. You may be asking yourself, “Lesly, these are beautiful words, but have you even voted?” The answer is yes, love! I made sure I handed in my absentee ballot in early October. Now, I sit here and I wait for the rest of the country to exercise their right; you included, friend (if you haven’t done so already). This may be a stressful time – trust me I understand. Before you go, be sure to breathe and stay informed. Go to the polls and vote! Your future, as well as that of many others, will be waiting for you.
Ian Ward, CC
This may sound shocking, but this is not my first time voting in a presidential election. Back in 2016, I went to the polls with my mom and cast my first ballot with a lot of excitement. Four years later, and I was in my pajamas filling out an absentee ballot before the deadline. It’s weird to vote by mail because I feel like I’m filling out a survey instead of my pick to run the country. Also unlike 2016, I am more jaded with the current political system. While I encourage anyone who is able to vote to go and do it, keep in mind to research each of the candidates in all of the categories. The last thing this country needs is to elect someone that wasn’t challenged by the American people through research.
Helen Yang, CC
Exercising our democratic right to vote is important, especially during this monumental election. This is my first election season, as I just turned 18 in June. With the pandemic, I’ve been unable to experience the benefits of being a legal adult until now. I registered to vote as soon as my birthday passed and received my voter registration card three weeks later. Websites such as vote.org have been incredibly helpful for checking my voter registration status and helping me request an absentee ballot. I requested my ballot in the beginning of September and received it in the mail a couple of weeks later. I followed the instructions and mailed my ballot. I chose to vote through an absentee ballot to lock in my vote early and stay safe during the pandemic. Mail-in ballots had to be mailed two weeks before the election to ensure they would be received in time and considered valid. If you still have your absentee ballot, make sure to drop it off at a local ballot box because it will not be mailed in time. If you are voting at the polls, wear a mask and stay safe! This election is a point of anxiety for almost everyone, including me, but voting has allowed me to feel somewhat in control of the outcome. No matter what happens tomorrow on Election Day, I know that I have done my part.
Esther Ju, CC
I always imagined my first time voting would be somewhat of an exhilarating experience: the jitters of waiting in a long line, throwing my ballot into the ballot box and walking out with a “I Just Voted” sticker, feeling like the main character who just did the country a favor. In reality, my first voting experience consisted of me filling out a ballot in the comfort of my bedroom, sealing it in an envelope and driving two miles to drop it off at the nearest town hall. Although it’s not what I expected, mail-in voting isn’t the only major noticeable aspect of this election. The rumors of it being “the most important” or “most historic” election in recent years have resulted in high stakes, leaving many of us in anxious anticipation as cities like New York and Washington, D.C. board their stores in case of riots. While I’m not the best source of advice when it comes to relieving these worries, the most adequate instruction I can give aside from voting is to indulge in some self-care. Based on the direction of 2020, choosing a candidate for “Most Chaotic Week” will be tough, with this week being a safe contender. So be sure to look out for yourself when things go to shambles. Happy election!