Exercising My Right

Today is Election Day in the United States, and the first one where I’m actually eligible to vote.

IMG_3260It’s a bit less exciting to turn 18 in a mid-term election year than in a presidential election year, but I’ve been waiting to exercise my right for a while now. I filled out my ballot the same day it came to me in the mail, deciding who I wanted in office and what measures should be applied.

Side note: I think all states should be like Oregon. Not only because we don’t have sales tax and we don’t pump our own gas, but also because all elections have mail-in ballots (I would’ve received an absentee ballot in the mail regardless because I go to school in New York, but anyway). People don’t have to take time off work to go vote and they have time to sit with the ballot and do research about the issues instead of voting blindly. It’s a great system.

IMG_3251I voted yes on a measure to legalize marijuana. I voted yes to allow people to get driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status, which helps people access healthcare and education. I voted for Richard Devlin, who was the only candidate for Senator, despite his confusion about which party he represents.

At one point I had to call my mom to ask her to explain some things: Who are all these people running for school board? What’s this measure about changing the primary system? It’s hard to be informed about the politics of a state you only see for a few months a year. 

IMG_3256To some, voting seems pointless, especially for mid-term elections. But I was excited to have my say. If anything, people should value mid-term elections more than presidential ones, since the issues and candidates more directly impact their day-to-day lives.

I can’t fix most political problems, but I can help decide who’s in charge of change. 

I’m pretty informed about government as Americans go (I took AP Gov in high school, plus I did mock Congress and constitutional law team), so I feel like it’s important for me to use that knowledge and cast my vote. 

Plus, I got to take ominous selfies with my “secrecy envelope,” which is the cherry on top of the civil service ice cream sundae.


Even though it isn’t the first of the month, I’m considering this post part of my “Firsts” series because it’s a big milestone to vote for the first time. Click here for more stories of my firsts!

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11 thoughts on “Exercising My Right

    • Thanks! I turned 18 in June, but I’m perpetually feeling young since I’m in my second year of college and most of my friends are turning 20 in the next few months.

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  1. Congrats! Found you on the NaBloPoMo blogroll. I didn’t know Oregon handled voting that way, but, I agree with everything you said. It would make things much easier if all states operated that way. I work during normal voting hours so I have to ask in advance for an extended lunch to make sure I can vote, which isn’t the worst thing, but still annoying.

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    • Thank you and welcome! It’s especially important for lower and middle classes who are more likely to be on hourly pay or can’t take off work to go vote. It helps with equality of voices & representation in politics.

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  2. Congrats and good for you! It’s encouraging to see young people who WANT to take part in the system.
    I didn’t know you could vote by mail there. If it makes it more accessible and more poeple participate then that’s certainly a good thing.

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  3. Ahh Sabina, I just learned that people in New Jersey and Oregon don’t pump their own gas. Do you why that is? Every other state is self-serve? I’m really curious. And y’all don’t have sales tax? I need to go to Portland.

    Is Oregon a Democratic state? I’m from Texas and those laws would definitely not pass where I’m from. I agree with some of them however.

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    • Yeah we’re the two states that don’t! Oregon and Delaware are the only two without sales tax. I dunno why that is! But it makes so much sense to me, it seems more efficient and it creates jobs.
      Oregon is definitely Democratic. Although it’s mostly Portland that makes it blue, since eastern/central Oregon are all pretty conservative.

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