First time voting

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Nikki Yopp
  Staff Writer

Voting is a right and a civic duty. That’s exactly what I was told whenever I was younger, but my parents also added in that if I abstained from voting, then I didn’t really have a right to complain. I took that as a chance to make sure that I am as educated as possible about different candidates and their stances on issues that I care about.

This year happens to be a very important year to be able to vote. In March, North Carolina had the primary election and now in November, we have the general election. All of the candidates’ hard work will finally come to an end on Nov. 8, when the world watches on to find out who will become the next leader of the free world.

On Nov. 5, I made my way to the Kaplan Wellness Center at a very bright and early 8:00 a.m., to vote early. Little did I know, that most of Greensboro had the same idea. So, I walk-jogged on, to make sure that I got into line before everyone else.

As people from around Guilford county poured in to do their civic duty, the line at the Kaplan Center had become over an hour long. Even though this polling station was on campus, the waiting prospective voters were far from only college students.

Bright and early in the morning, the line was bustling with Guilford residents of all different ages and walks of life. As the day progressed, more college students took the time to roll out of bed and place their ballot.

The voting center volunteers were incredibly helpful, and were able to assist several people in line in front of me with changing their address at the polls.

Though this is very helpful, it is important to remember that if a change of address is received less than 25 days prior to the election, then a provisional ballot may be the only ballot allowed.

As I was personally waiting to be taken to a ballot box, I saw many residents of the Greensboro community using the sample ballots that were given at the front door to double check the ballot on the screen in front of them, as well as some confused first time voters, who had to have everything explained to them about the ballot box.

Whenever I first voted in March, the man who explained the ballot box to me was quick to point out that whenever candidate selections are made, the box will start to print a “receipt” of sorts, and that the noise can be startling.

Even though this was explained to me less than a year ago, the noise was still jarring the first few times I heard it. However, the ballot was so long for this election, that eventually it became a rhythmic tune that settled into the background.

Voting this time around, wasn’t fun and it didn’t fulfill me like voting in March did, but I know that my voice needed to count.

It is very important for all people, especially millennials, to get out to vote. Whenever millennials educate themselves about their beliefs and candidate options, there is potential to change an election.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump wouldn’t have spent so much time around colleges and young communities if they didn’t know what kind of power there is in the millennial vote.

Even though the election season is coming to a close, there will be many more important elections in the next months and years. Vote in every election, not just presidential ones. Local elected leaders have more impact on lives of citizens than many people could ever imagine.



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