I voted for the very first time Tuesday, November 6, 2018, in the midterm elections. I turned 18 the year before but became aware of and interested in the midterms when I applied for my temporary driver’s permit in May of the same year. The clerk asked if I was currently registered to vote. I told her I wasn’t, and she gave me a voter registration application.
Voting can be a bit intimidating if one does not have the appropriate guidance, especially for first-time voters. My name is Monica B. Villa; I am a current intern at The Urban League of Philadelphia and a first-time voter.
Growing up, my father was always an active voter, but my mother was not. I asked her why she would not vote.
“Why should I? I can’t make a difference,” she responded. At the time, I thought to myself, ‘Well, she is right.’ So, I also did not have any interest in political activism or voting.
During the summer of my junior year of high school, I had the privilege of becoming a U.S. citizen but was unaware of the rights, responsibilities and privileges of American citizenship. I was uninformed about voting. I was uneducated about the changes that needed to be made in my community. Worse still, I unaware that these changes were all connected to the ballot box. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I educated myself on the voting process and on the daily problems my community faced.