First Time Voters: My Mom’s & My First Time Voting

This year has probably been one of the most intense years of our lives for many reasons, one primarily being the state of politics and the recent presidential election. Like many young adults, this year was my first opportunity to vote (I turned 18!), and I made sure I was registered to receive my ballot come election time. That process itself was really exciting, but what made it much more meaningful was that I got to vote alongside my mom — a first-time voter herself. After years of living here in the U.S., my mom became a citizen earlier this year! That was an important and exciting day for all of us. For her, it was her official “Welcome to the United States” ceremony. 

One of the reasons my mom felt the need to become a citizen was because she felt the personal responsibility to vote in the then upcoming election. She told me, “I really wanted to vote because it was going to help people who need the votes. My vote is going to help my neighbors, as well as the people who want to come to the United States in search of a better life. I felt that I could help the people without documents, the DREAMers, the people who lived in constant fear these last four years. My vote can even help the next generation of people. I felt a responsibility to vote because I could vote and advocate for people who need it.” 

She really couldn’t have said it better. I voted because I genuinely am tired of the last four years. I am tired of the threats Trump has made to tear down legislation protecting immigrants and those who have come here to search for a better life. I am tired of the hate he inspires and the way he downplays and dismisses the issues plaguing our country. I voted because I want to see politicians start to push for the legislation that is needed to protect this country and its individuals. 

Needless to say, my mom and I were really happy with the outcome of this election — it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulder. It felt amazing to see president-elect Joe Biden give his first speech. And it truly inspired me to see vice president-elect Kamala Harris step on that stage, the first vice president who is a woman of color and the daughter of immigrants. I now hope that when they officially assume power in the White House, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will focus on the critical issues we need to address in this country as a whole.