Many members on the campus of APSU cast their first ballot for the first time on Nov. 3, 2020. However, experienced voters also play a big role at the polls.
Voter’s attitudes have been shaped through different historical moments. The 2020 Presidential Election has also been a pivotal moment that has impacted turnout and opinions between voters.
Dan Castle, who is a seventy-six-year-old retired purchasing agent, worked at the polls in the 2020 election cycle as a volunteer and has voted in plenty of election cycles.
Castle spoke about the current divisions that exist in the political climate. However, he also noted the vast increases in voter turnout in 2020 in comparison to other years. Castle speculated that this surge is due to cynicism in American politics.
However, the volunteer additionally voiced his excitement for the future, noting the shifts in young voters’ attitudes and young candidates seeking political office. While experienced voters seem to impact the election in greater numbers in comparison to young voters, we are all vital to the process.
The future of our democracy depends on first-time voters, experienced voters and the rest of the community. Even though many Americans are dissatisfied with the status quo, experienced voters can vouch for the change that occurs through community engagement and political involvement.
Voting doesn’t end in the 2020 election cycle. People can partake in more efforts across Clarksville in various ways.
Joe Shakeenab, who is running for Clarksville City Council Ward 12, was also present at the polls to wave signs and encourage voter turnout.
Shakeenab is a fifty-two-year-old retired veteran and also serves as the president of APSU’s National Alumni Association and Military Alumni Chapter.
The council candidate emphasized the importance of the local side of elections and community involvement.
“Start learning not just about the process, but also about the concerns,” Shakeenab said. “Have expectations of yourself. What is your role?”
Shakeenab’s call to action is a viewpoint that has already translated at the polls in the voter turnout levels.
Nilda Maldonado, a 35-year-old citizen who works for the Trustees Montgomery County Office, also expressed optimism in response to the massive voter turnout that was seen in the 2020 election cycle. Maldonado is also a member of APSU’s alumni and an experienced voter.
“It’s hopeful when you see so many people get involved and do their civic duties,” she said.
Shakenabb, Maldonado, and Castle all voiced a similar sentiment about what they have learned from voting: Get involved.
Civic engagement does not stop at the polls and we all have to do our part. Campus alumni, community leaders, and student organizations are some of the starting points to learn more about civic opportunities on campus.