I voted for the first time Tuesday. I drove to the Scottsboro Rec Com, presented my driver’s license, got a ballot and voted. Voting seems like a very grown-up thing to do and it’s still sort of odd to me that I’m allowed to vote. Considering that, in the government’s eye, I have been an adult for almost three months, voting is now my right and responsibility. My eighteenth birthday was in December and I registered to vote in the same week. It was a required activity in my high school government class.

On Tuesday, the process of voting was easy–but it hasn’t always been that way. For example, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting in a presidential election in 1872. She’s not the only woman who has been denied the opportunity to vote. As an American, I understand our country’s arduous relationship with voting rights and the sacrifices that have been made to secure my right to vote.

This August will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the nineteenth amendment. The nineteenth amendment granted women the right to vote and without it I would have never been able to walk into the polling station and let my voice be heard by our government. It’s important to remember the sacrifices that past generations have made so that I can exercise my right to vote in 2020. Because I know that I stand on the shoulders of suffragettes, voting means a lot to me. It’s an obligation that I take seriously.

Being an informed voter has never been easier and yet I still feel as if I have a lot to learn. Cultivating an informed opinion on current issues and researching which candidates match these opinions is difficult. There is so much information online and finding reputable sources is overwhelming. If one does elect to do this extra work before they cast their votes, they still will probably not be informed on every issue. It’s frustrating to me that I can’t always make the most informed decision when voting.

I am going to keep trying to stay informed on the issues that affect our local, state and federal government. It won’t be easy but, I want to make sure that the next time I vote, I know as much as I can before I go to fill out my ballot. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to contribute to the democratic process in a meaningful way again. Also, I want to get another one of those stickers. 

Morgan Holder is an intern at the Jackson County Sentinel. She can be reached at morgan.holder@jcsentinel.com.

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