I Voted


The word that makes up the foundation of democracy. The way we, the people, can make our voices heard. The way I can make my voice heard.

Having just turned 18, I was excited and nervous to cast my first vote. Not knowing what to expect, I walked into the second precinct, where I was greeted by a huge man hunched over a small desk. As I handed over my ID and fumbled to fill out my voter verification form, I was rushed with emotion and a sense of realization. I felt the importance of voting for democracy. As they slid my ID through the reader, I felt the anxiety build up; I was finally going to vote.

“You’re in the wrong precinct,” I heard the worker say.

My heart dropped. Did I do something wrong? Had I messed up? Where am I supposed to be? Thoughts raced through my head; I had planned everything out, from registering two months early to researching who I would vote for. I had everything ready to go, so what went wrong?

The huge man stood from his desk and instructed me to follow him. I started to freak out. Was he taking me to be questioned? Was I being escorted out? Every second, a new fear popped into my head.

“You’re here, and you need to be here,” he told me.

Really… that was it? I was really stressing over this huge towering man telling me the directions to my precinct.

Entering my precinct, I was greeted by the smallest lady with the biggest desk I’d seen. Repeating the process, I handed over my ID and watched them scan it. With a smile on her face, she asked if it was my first time voting — I told her that it was. Her smile grew even larger, and she raised a fist which I promptly fist-bumped.

Going to the voting stalls, I knew who I would vote for; the hours and hours of research flowed onto the ballot. After I finished, I fed the ballot into the machine, and it displayed an American flag. An immense sense of pride and relief washed over me.

As I walked out, I took one of the “I voted” stickers, and left knowing I had made a difference in my surrounding community and state.