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Super Tuesday just passed and I was freaking out in class who I would vote for. So instead of listening to lecture and taking notes, I was doing some intense stalking on every candidate. I swear Joe from You would have nothing on me. I looked up every policy, association, and scandal that each candidate had and came to the conclusion I would be feeling the Bern.

Because I am such a great citizen I decided to skip class and go vote during that time and walked to my nearest polling place. So, I’m a political science major but I was still majorly confused at the polling place. It made me realize why people don’t vote (voter suppression is real :// ). The line wasn’t too long probably about 10 people in front of me but I still waited about an hour just to vote. This is just a minor example when other polling places reported having to wait for hours. And people don’t have hours. Especially people who are form the working- class. They are extremely exhausted or have to run to their next shift and are on a time constraint. Not to mention, low-income communities usually have less polling places and are less likely to do mail-in ballots. 

While voting I was also deciding on some measures and was honestly so confused about what I was voting for. I read and reread them and probably didn’t understand some of the words. I also know measures are worded to sound good but have some strings attached which could mean anything from raising taxes or removing a certain practice or system. The wording on theses measures are not accessible and that’s another reason people stray from voting.

I also saw that the ballots had candidates who had dropped out and I knew they did. But what about people who don’t keep up with the news and vote for candidates who dropped. Their vote doesn’t count because of the lack of political knowledge. It isn’t their fault that they didn’t keep up when their lives can be clouded by issues of having to work to pay rent or whether they can afford their phone payment. Even if they don’t have these issues there should be an expectation that their vote counts and that the ballots are updated with the current nominees. 

I mentioned that I was doing research on candidates. I realize how privileged I am to be able to have the time to do so. Also, to be able to understand policies and find out what these candidates support. It’s ridiculous how hard it is to find what candidates support because media has shifted from covering policy to focusing on what’s popular. Also when you finally find this information it is hard to understand. I was literally on dictonary.com looking up words ad had 40 tabs open to just find out candidates’ stances. It shouldn’t be this hard to be able to vote. Voting was intended to be a right and right now its a privilege to do so.

Voter suppression is real and I understand why there is low turn out rates. Voting isn’t made appealing or accessible. But if you have the means to do so… go to the polls! Our votes do count and affect the lives of many who aren’t privileged enough to do so. I bring up these points of voter suppression not to discourage but to understand why others don’t. Vote for the things you care about, this is our country and before we know it it’s going to be us running this country. Vote for the world you want to live in :)

Dixie Valle

UC Berkeley '22

Dixie is a senior at UC Berkeley studying Political Science. She is also minoring in public policy and education. On her free time, she loves watching reality tv and listening to music.
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