Election day in the U.S. midterms is coming up fast and as such a brand new wave of voters are present and ready for their voices to be heard, some for the first time.

Voting is an integral piece of our nation’s legislative process, which is completely reliant on people’s willingness to get out to the polls and make choices they think will benefit them. Whether it’s by visiting polling stations or voting by mail, the people’s voice is what decides how our elected leaders run our country.

Getting the word out to vote can be hard but thanks to PCC, Mayra Velasco, a student here is preparing to vote for the first time after registering on campus.

“I was raised to be politically neutral so I’ve never had the chance to vote before,” Velasco said. “I’m going to vote soon and by mail.”

Regardless of being raised neutral on the political spectrum, Velasco is ready to have her voice heard and to make her own decisions. 

On top of wanting to be heard, Velasco was intrigued to vote after hearing about issues that would be on the ballot that she felt strongly about.

“While I was registering I heard something that really got me excited to vote,” Velasco said.

Fellow first-time voter, Hazem Abelaty, a freshman at PCC, was just as excited to vote this time around. 

“It’s my first time voting, and on my first year at PCC,” Abelaty said. “I’m just excited because I get to do it for the first time.”

Some voters that are interested in voting aren’t necessarily naturally born US citizens. After leaving the Philippines and coming to the US five years ago, student Ma-Krystiel Hudson is very interested in getting involved in US elections and finding out what fits her beliefs.

“I won’t vote this time around because I am still working on my registration after being here for five years,” Hudson said. “But once I can I want to learn about the political parties and which political party represents my values the best.”

While this isn’t her first time up to bat, student Alana Gambill recalls her first time voting while she still lived in North Carolina. Her experience voting for former President Barack Obama is one that will stay with her for a while.

“I was in the south, I’m from North Carolina originally,” Gambill said. “There was a very interesting dialogue at the time about who we should vote for and why and all that. There was a lot of backlash that was racially motivated and generally the area I was from was more conservative.”

Gambill wasn’t going to let her conservative area and general ire for President Obama stop her from expressing herself. She believes it was the right thing to do and really felt like it made a difference.

“I felt like I was very much participating and doing something, I felt pretty proud to be doing it,” Gambill said. “I always try to get out there and vote nowadays too because I want my voice to be heard and I want my beliefs and morals to be represented by the people in office.”

Whether you identify with a political party or find yourself somewhere in the middle, getting out there and voting is incredibly important not just nationally, but locally as well. Student Joseph Harrison believes that while his vote nationally might not matter, locally its way more important.

“I mean think stuff like propositions and local things matter, but like President and stuff like that, it’s not as important to me,” Harrison said. “I don’t really align with many politicians so there’s that too.”

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