Many eligible CA seniors cast their ballots for the first time for the 2020 presidential election. This year, voting looked different than past elections, and our eighteen-year-old seniors had the option to fill out an absentee ballot or wear masks and practice social-distancing while standing in line at the voting stations.
To avoid the long lines and large masses of people on election day, several seniors opted to vote early.
Jared Kass said, “I voted early on October 25th. I went with my family, and we had a good time together, so the line didn’t feel as long as it took, which was about an hour and a half. When I finally got to cast my ballot, it was awesome, and after dropping it in the box on the way out, the people working the polls made a big deal of me being a first-time voter. I feel really lucky that I was of age to participate in our democracy.”
Several other seniors took advantage of the beautiful weather to vote in person on Tuesday, November 3.
Luke Nester’21 described his experience as empowering, saying, “I voted today at the Powell United Methodist Church around noon. My mom and I were in and out of the voting center in 7 minutes. It was very efficient with no line. It felt rewarding to have my opinion count toward a process that actually affects our country.”
Vera Anderson’21 also voted on Election Day, while sharing the opportunity to vote for the first time with her mother, who just became a United States citizen this past year.
While recounting her first time at the voting booths, Anderson said, “My voting experience felt really special, because it was my mom and my first time voting. She just got her citizenship last year and I just turned 18, so it was a nice bonding moment for us. Even though I’m just one person, I felt like I was making a difference in Ohio, since Ohio is a swing state. Even though it still turned red, I’m glad I was able to at least participate in our democracy and make some sort of a difference. Voting is so important because we all have such an impact on our future, so we need to use this opportunity and right to make our voices heard.”
Although some seniors were not eligible to vote, 18 volunteered to work the polls. Nia Law’21 volunteered at Cherry Valley Elementary School in Licking County, where she prepared the voting machines and ballot boxes.
Law said, “There was a much higher concentration of absentee voting this year; however, we had a similar amount of turnout as compared to previous years, suggesting greater turnout in general. The experience was informative and gratifying, as I was able to meet and support a lot of different people. I learned a lot about my community and am hopefully better for it . . . Overall, I am [so] glad I signed up. There is truly nothing like that experience.”