Voting for the first time

What is it like casting a ballot to decide the future of our country? Zach Saldivar


As a first-time voter, there is some uncertainty as to what voting is like. Is it glamorous? Does it fill you with patriotism? I would say no to the former, and yes to the latter.

I voted at a local elementary school, it was around 4:00 PM, a quiet afternoon, there was only one other man voting there when I arrived. The polling place was run by 3 volunteers, one an elderly lady, and the other two were younger students. They ask for your name, they check to make sure it is on their list, they then ask for your signature, which, if you are anything like me, always makes you nervous because you want to make your signature is as consistent as possible, something I have not yet mastered.

I digress. After you have signed, they ask for your address, and they give you a grossly inadequate space to write on. They then ask for your name again, and if you want a paper ballot, or an electronic one. I chose electronic. They then give you instructions on how to use the machine. As there were only four machines in this small classroom turned polling place, I had to wait a few minutes for an open one. Once I got my opportunity to use the machine, it gives you a few instructions on how it works, you are then off to the races. It is a bit overwhelming in all honesty, you are given each category and the options in that category. If I hadn’t brought a “cheat sheet” of things I was planning to vote for, it would have been a nightmare deciding right then and there.

As you finish, it asks you to confirm all your decisions, and then you press the big red button to submit your ballot, and you are done. I walked away half-dazed, got my sticker, and walked out. What I had just done began to sink in as I drove home. The ability to have your voice heard, on issues you care about, and having a hand in the future of your community and nation, is truly priceless.

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