My Journey To Becoming A More Informed Voter
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Politics and Activism

My Journey To Becoming A More Informed Voter

The story of a first time voter

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My Journey To Becoming A More Informed Voter
Alabama Public Radio

My first memory of a presidential election was in 2008. I was 12 and President Obama was up for election for the first time. I remember someone asking me who my parents were voting for. I answered awkwardly with "well, um, I don't know" and then moved on. Because here's the thing, I didn't know. My parents cover a broad spectrum when it comes to politics and sometimes they didn't vote for the same people or even within the same party.

I'm a big fan of knowing all of my options and growing up with parents on different political spectrums I think that I was taught to look at candidates themselves and not necessarily the parties they were associated with. I understand party loyalty but I also think that you should vote for who you believe would make the best president. That is simply my opinion, though, ultimately, I believe it is a citizen's right to vote for whom they wish.

However, I've always thought the democratic system of citizens getting to vote was kind of awesome. I registered to vote almost as soon as I could and I've been excited to get to vote in a presidential election since then. However, growing up in a home that was not necessarily swayed one way or another I found myself at a loss. What party should I identify? Who should I vote for? Did it matter who my parents were voting for? I decided that the only way to form my own opinions, to vote for the person that I truly believed was right, was to follow the election.

And thus began my journey of watching every debate, following every caucus and primary and following each candidate in the news. I followed all of the major candidates on twitter. Even now I've watched the Republican National Convention and I plan on following the Democratic Convention.

Through this experience, I believe I became a more informed voter. I learned to really examine the things that were important to me as an American citizen. Based on that analysis and analyzing presidential candidates, I believe I was able to narrow down who I believed was the best candidate.

Of course, there are questions about whether or not personal voting matters. My personal opinion is that it 100% does matter. I feel that a surprising number of people that I had conversations with hadn't really followed the election at all, at least not past reading headlines. I would come across people who would show me articles of sources that would be deemed unreliable and it made me sad to see that, that was the case.

I guess what I'm getting at is, voting is your right and as an American citizen. It is a privilege that you have to vote and so I hope that you vote well, vote smart and vote for the person that you think is best!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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