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As a first-time voter in New Jersey, I’m encouraging everyone to register to vote. You have the power to choose who will represent your community and future generation.
When my pre-law summer program at NJCU was postponed and I was also laid off from my job as a result of COVID-19, I wondered what was next. Fortunately, I spent my summer interning for Reclaim Our Vote, a non-profit organization that fights voter suppression and indifference. I worked with their program “Students for Justice” and one of my projects was to become a team leader. Our team did phone banking, texting, and postcard writing to get out the vote while I also participated in different educational programming which included a series of guest speakers.
In addition, I was able to use a youth-oriented app called Motivate that reminds young people about local or presidential elections. Students for Justice helped me gain leadership and organizational skills, but most importantly I received hands-on political experience and I learned the importance of voting.
As my internship came to an end, I gained an even greater interest in politics and making a difference in our society. Movements such as Justice for George Floyd, Black Lives Matters, and LGBTQ activism, have moved a whole country in a matter of days, with many asking for changes in our society. Part of this work must be encouraging a new generation to register to vote. Every vote counts.
If it didn’t, there would not be as many voter suppression measures like strict voter photo ID laws, no early voting or same-day registration, polling places being relocated or closed, an inadequate number of functioning voting machines, racial gerrymandering, etc. If our vote didn’t matter we wouldn’t have to face so many obstacles for it to count. I encourage you to register to vote and exercise your right because your vote matters. Your vote is your voice.