First time voters prepare to cast ballots

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Stanford Wells, Reporter

This year’s election has been a hot topic with many twists and turns. The President of the United States for the next four years is to be decided on November 3, 2020. It will be former Vice President Joe Biden against current President Donald Trump. Biden is the Democratic candidate while Trump is the Republican candidate. Many issues are at stake in this election including gun control, abortion, healthcare, and much more. This is my first year that I have a say in who becomes our president, and I don’t intend to take it lightly.

Although the election is a big deal, many people just want it to be over. It seems as though it has taken a back seat to many other events because of COVID-19. Also with riots, hurricanes, and fires, it is hard to keep our focus on just the election. One choice that people face is whether to vote in person, or whether to send in a mail-in ballot. Some may choose mail-in because of COVID-19 but many feel that their vote is more secure if they vote in person. I personally plan on voting in person with my parents. I feel that I will get the physical experience of voting if I do it in person, opposed to a mail in ballot.

When deciding who to vote for it’s not such a hard decision when one looks at the issues. It is all about what one stands for and his or her ideals. Joe Biden has liberal views and tends to be on the left side of the political spectrum. While Trump, on the other hand, is a Republican and has more right wing views. One issue, among many others that citizens are passionate about is abortion. Issues like this and many others can be a defining factor when deciding which candidate to support. 

When I made my decision on who to vote for I looked at three main factors: my beliefs, the candidate’s track record, and essentially the leadership ability of the candidate. One thing that really stands out for me is strong leadership. Sometimes people ask me if I acquired my political views from my parents or if I decided them myself. I’d say it was a little bit of both. My parents taught me values and morals, and I also studied and informed myself on political matters. After I did that, I saw that I was still aligned with my parents. Political ideology, in general, is a very personal matter that should be carefully decided, and it is much better to be informed and knowledgeable than to simply be ignorant of such things. 

No matter which side one believes in, we have the right to vote so everyone should go out and exercise that right. Comedian and author George Carlin once said, “If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain.” To an extent, that can be considered true. Obviously it is ok to like neither candidate, but in many cases, it is deciding who you dislike the least. Which is quite honestly a pretty sad reflection of society. While this may or may not be the case, this election is still important because it directly affects us.

Rachel Hollis is a senior at Tunstall and also first time voter. She feels that “this year’s candidates are not people I would have normally voted for, and I think this year’s election is going to be very tough to decide which one is going to be best for our country. I watched the debate, and I wasn’t really impressed with either one, so I feel like for this election I have to settle for one of the candidates.” This opinion has become a reality for many Americans after the first presidential debate. 

I have been anticipating casting my vote for some time, and am excited to exercise my right as an American. Some consider this to be the most important election in recent history, and depending on one’s political views, that may certainly be the case. All in all, this election is important and can change the course of American history. So what we as citizens must do is educate ourselves, consider our morals, and most importantly, vote!