The 2020 election featured many first-time voters across APSU. While there are seemingly endless reasons behind each individual’s selection, the overall reason to vote was simple and nearly unanimous: it is an important election in the United States.

With the call for voting higher than it had ever been in recent memory, many people who had passed on exercising their right to vote in previous years hit the polls to make a difference in both their community and country.

People such as Trevor Varner, a 36-year-old nursing major at APSU, shied away from politics in the past. With the magnitude of this year’s election, he decided to cast his first ballot.

“I’ve never voted, because I was never involved in politics,” Varner said. “I never stayed up on it and I used that as an excuse to not cast a ballot, because I felt I’m not giving an educated response but this time I felt like it was necessary to be informed and at least do the minimum. It is hard to complain about things when you don’t vote.”

There are a multitude of reasons why people took to the stands this week, but Varner said one of his driving forces to vote was the social issues that persist around the country and world.

“I felt like the topics this year, specifically social issues that are going on in the world, Varner added. “I felt like I needed to put my vote in.”

Voter registration takes place at APSU during the 2019 school semester. | THE ALL STATE ARCHIVES
Voter registration takes place at APSU during the 2019 school semester. |

Patricia Anguiano, a freshman music education major at APSU, chose to vote this year to allow her voice to be heard. Her decision was also due to the example that her parents set for her growing up.

“It is something that my family always did,” Anguiano said. “When it came to the last election it was a very ‘meme-ish’ thing, and people were all like ‘Haha I voted for this random person because [the election] is just funny and a joke.’

“I just thought that was really dumb. There is an extent about making jokes about it and then actually voting for the sake of a joke. Our generation vouches for us to be heard and seen in the community, but when jokes become the leading face of how we vote, then I’d rather take a stray away from that.”

In society today, there has been a call for change. Abudul Jawad Abdula adds that he urged others to encourage change around the country with their vote rather than arguing verbally.

“Don’t argue, just go vote,” Abdula said.  “Like, you don’t have to argue what your opinion is. If you want to change what is going on, go vote. Make your voice be heard that way.”

While many vote for their own political reasons, some such as Sierra Simmons, a freshman music education major, did so because of the strong urge from friends and family.

“Everyone is just saying we need to vote and I have just felt a lot of pressure from friends and others,” Simmons said. “With everybody saying ‘You need to vote,’ I was just like ‘OK.’ It’s just a way to do my part, so I’ll do whatever I can.”

Many Governors let their voice be heard by voting for the first time in the 2020 election and, no matter the result of their vote, should come away with a sense of accomplishment for participating in one of the biggest elections in recent history.