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First Time Voting: Did I Make The Right Choice or Screw Up The Country?!

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Voting wasn’t something I was particularly apprehensive about. I’m an adult (roughly). It was just one of those things I had to do.

I originally didn’t want to vote early out of the fear that I’d be missing out on something special and mature on election day. After all, nothing screams adulthood more than choosing the next president (and other law-abiding officials) to run our country. But this election was chaotic. This was far from the usual mud-slinging tactics of previous candidates. This was the election that, aside from President Obama’s two terms, made me sweat. I didn’t have much love for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, so it felt like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Despite my lack of faith in either of them, I decided to vote anyway.

Voting wasn’t a glamorous process. It didn’t have the mysticism of a magic ritual. It wasn’t solemn and didn’t have the gravity, weight or even the effect of a severely important decision, though I knew it was. It was an easy, cool, quiet process that left me severely underwhelmed.

I’d gone to East Point Library with my grandmother, who was also voting that day. While I wasn’t enthusiastic about the voting process, her being with me did have some impact. This was my first time voting in anything this important, and I would’ve felt a little lost had she not been there. The steps to vote were easy, given that I’d already registered. I just had to sign off on a few things, get my voting card (ballot), plug it into a touch-screen computer and vote. I couldn’t bring in any electronics, and if there was an issue about my voting registry, the people in charge of making the process run smoothly would call downtown for me and have it all sorted out. After that, I could grab my peach sticker and leave. Get in, and get out. The people at the East Point Library prided themselves on this kind of easy efficiency, and I was thankful for that.

Actual voting was just a finger on whatever option you wanted to choose. I did take the time to research the night before about other people in various positions I might be voting for, which is important to know. The president, while more than relevant, isn’t the only person you will be voting for and about. The state of Georgia also wants you to vote on proposed amendments, including schools, taxes and environmental decisions that will influence what the state does with your money and how it is governed. I hoped my decision counted in all of these areas.

After I cast my ballot, I handed in my voter’s card and went home. I thought about the decision I’d made for a moment. I started to experience a sudden sinking feeling as what I’d just done sunk in. Had I really made the right choice? Or did I have a hand in thoroughly f**king our country over in the next four (or, oh God eight) years? Whatever the election results turn out to be, I hope the right person takes on the presidency. Or else, we’re all in for a long four years.

Catherine, 19, is a tired freshman at Georgia Perimeter College. She likes reading gothic horror, listening to Indie R&B, and plans to be influential when she finally grows up.

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