In Her Own Words: Voting for the First Time

This year, select members of the Class of 2021 will vote for the first time. Here’s what it means to them to elevate their voice.

Zoe Burnett
Zoe turned 18 on the first day of October this year, and the Presidential election will be her first time to cast a ballot. To her, “casting a vote this fall means participating in the future of our country.”

"Participating in voting is bigger than this one election; it is a privilege and honor that has been won by women suffragists and civil rights leaders. Voting not only ensures that your opinion matters, but that it can have influence, too."


Sarah Cook
After turning 18 in June, Sarah’s first time voting came in the August primaries. She will “definitely” vote again in the November

election, and she’s also worked to help register other young voters, because “voting is vital for the survival of our democracy.”

"My vote matters because it represents the voice of young people, who often do not turn out to vote. It matters because I am informed on the issues I care about, and I know who on my ballot supports my values and beliefs. My vote matters because we live in a democracy where all voices should be heard." 


Quinlan Cyr
With her 18th birthday a month before the Presidential election, Quinlan plans to vote for the first time on November 3, because “it is what I can do right now to stand up for the issues that are important to me.”

"Voting is your way to participate in democracy. If you don’t vote, you didn’t play any role in influencing the country’s government. A vote means that you are playing an active role in making decisions for everyone in the country, including yourself." 


Lela Hooper
After voting for the first time this summer in the  U.S. Senate Primary, Lela is “super excited” to vote in her first Presidential election because “every vote counts when trying to make change.”

"Being able to cast a vote in the upcoming election makes me feel empowered. Knowing that my voice is being heard and my participation in democracy matters, is a feeling like no other."


Ava Claire Williams
The November election will be the first time Ava Claire is eligible to vote, and, she said, “I want to use my voice.” 
 
"Being able to cast my vote for the first time means to me that I have truly become an active citizen of the United States. I have been looking forward to this since the last election. It is important to vote, because many before us fought for this right. My vote matters, because every ballot cast counts towards something larger." 


Cate Yappen
Cate turns 18 a little more than a week before the election. She is registered to vote, and she is ready to cast her ballot, because “the right to vote is a privilege.”

"My vote matters, because I have a different view of our country than my mom and my best friend. It is crucial to form individual opinions on what is most important in a candidate. Although my vote only has a small amount of power, it is still a personal responsibility to cast one."