Rachel Votes for the First Time

Rachel Farhoudi, Features Writer

After my 18th birthday last month, the promise of a round, red and blue sticker on my jacket felt closer than ever. These little “I Voted” stickers may seem trivial, but I am prepared to wear my first one like a badge of honor. In order to earn that prize, I need to cast my votes. 

Because California is an absentee state, every registered voter gets a ballot in the mail. When mine was delivered, I gave it a small squeeze and put it in a safe space. I couldn’t risk spilling water on it or ripping one of the many pages when I tried to open it up. I love getting mail in general, but a well-stuffed envelope of ballot information was an especially exciting delivery. However, the second I unloaded the contents of my special envelope, a little bit of the excitement wore off as the amount of items on the ballot seemed daunting. 

California voters, being from a referendum state, get to directly vote on bills rather than the legislature debating proposed bills and adding their own amendments to come to a decision. In this week’s general election, seven propositions are on the ballot. For me, that meant reading up on seven proposals in between       the    college applications and homework.

Despite the stress, I was excited to vote on the many candidates. I am hoping to go into public policy in college next year, so reading up on different candidates’ strategies and ideas is exciting to me as it directly relates to my interests. There were so many positions whose importance I wouldn’t have even considered before opening up my ballot information packet. 

The voting process can be time consuming and tedious, but luckily my parents helped me through it. The reading and planning was worth the feeling of accomplishment I got when I filled in each little bubble and sent my signed and sealed envelope off. Being a first time voter is a new and exciting privilege.