Seniors’ First-Time Voting


Senior Bergen Friedman shows off her voting sticker

Abby Cowan

With the drastic changes brought on by COVID-19, citizens have to vote in different ways this election, such as completing mail in ballots or voting from inside their vehicle. While everyone had to adjust to these unusual circumstances, students at Emery have had to learn what it means to be a first time voter. 

Senior Cullen Baker voted for the first time two weeks ago at Houston Community College. He says this year was a difficult year to be a first-time voter and that he “learned a lot through the voting process this year. This is a very hard election to be voting in for the first time. I learned I need to think for myself and formulate my own opinion.”

Baker admits he had a lot to learn before selecting his candidates on the ballot. Voting in this political climate, he says, involved “lots of confusion, but definitely excitement as well because you only get one first time,” he explains. Baker feels empowered as a young voter and “educated on the social issues that are so important to this election.” By being young and having the difficult conversations about social issues in school, Baker adds, “this new generation of voters is going to be a lot different from ones before.”

For senior Bergen Friedman, also a first-time voter, this year felt different to her because of “all of the precautions taken for COVID-19.” She voted from her car at a drive-through voting booth, “but I hope to have the experience of going inside a voting booth next election,” she says.

“As a first-time voter,” Friedman explains, “I was excited to be able to voice my opinions and beliefs.” She feels that young voters are going to be the difference makers in this election and future elections, and as “different perspectives start to appear, this will allow for fresh starts on how citizens view our country.”

From talking to first-time voters at Emery, it is clear that while this year is different, young voters remain empowered and enthusiastic about exercising their right. Especially during these circumstances, it is more important than ever to get out and cast your vote!