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Friday, August 7, 2020

I Wasn’t Going to Vote but I’m Glad I Did

// Illustration by Shannon DeLurio

By Emily Erskine

I wasn’t going to vote. 

I was bored and overwhelmed with the politics circulating my everyday life, and frankly, it was all too easy to just blame my apathy on being busy. Busy with school, busy with work, busy with all the other things that demand my time and attention.

But the closer to election day, the guiltier I felt. Maybe my vote did matter.

I’m grateful for my peers and for my elders for holding me accountable; for the constant pressure and interrogating of whether I submitted a ballot or not. I see now what they were seeing all along. 

As I sat at the voting office filling out this small piece of paper, I looked to my right and saw something that shook me to my core. An older, white, seemingly upper-middle class male filling out his ballot as well, and that’s when it hit me. 

As a 22-year-old black, unmarried woman, my vote counted just as much as this man’s to my right. And nothing he could say or do could ever take that away from me. 

So I rejoiced. 

Voting is a right that those before us fought long and hard for, and voting is something we should hold more dearly. If this was 100 years ago, I wouldn’t even be able to declare my opinion. 

Now I get to educate myself, form my own thoughts and views of the world and take the time to select the candidates I respect.

So, I hope you all voted. If you didn’t, I hope you’ll change your mind next time.

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