First time voters change America at polls

Election+Day+took+place+on+Nov.+8+this+year.+Long+Lots+Elementary+school++was+one+of+the+five+polling+locations+available+for+Westporters+to+cast+their+ballot.+Photo+contributed+by+Ashley+Julien+%E2%80%9923.+

Photo by Karlie Saed ’23.

Election Day took place on Nov. 8 this year. Long Lots Elementary school was one of the five polling locations available for Westporters to cast their ballot. Photo contributed by Ashley Julien ’23.

Election Day is normally a day in which students get a day off from school and use this time to sleep in, catch up on homework or hangout with friends. But, for those seniors who just recently turned 18, they headed over to the polls to exercise their right to vote. Those who casted a ballot voted for state senators, congressional seats and state legislatures, among many other statewide seats. 

The polls in Westport opened up at 6 a.m. and closed at 8 p.m. Four of the five elementary schools, excluding Kings Highway Elementary School, and the Westport Public Library were used as polling locations.

Voting for the first time can seem quite intimidating. However, many find voting extremely user friendly.  

“It was a lot more casual than I thought,” Jefferey Pouge ’23 said. “I imagined security guards, big scary ballot machines, politicians staring you down and judging you, but it was just a few friendly people in a moderately sized room, going at a leisurely pace.”

It is important for voters to be knowledgeable about the candidates running for local and state elections because those specific people will represent the public’s needs. 

I feel so fulfilled knowing that my voice matters and I got to use it for positive change in the government. I got multiple high fives and fist bumps and encouraging words as people saw me in line. ”

— Clara Smith ’23.

“I did research on candidates before voting because I wanted to know more about who the candidates are,” Meredith Mulhern ’23 said. 

Many students look forward to this aspect of adulthood. Clara Smith ’23 turned 18 just over a week ago and could not wait for Election Day. 

“I feel so fulfilled knowing that my voice matters and I got to use it for positive change in the government,” Smith said. “I got multiple high fives and fist bumps and encouraging words as people saw me in line.” 

Overall, this Election Day was filled with feelings of accomplishment, excitement and knowing that your vote matters. No matter what type of election is happening, many see the importance of  exercising one’s right to vote as an American citizen. 

“I had been to the polls before with my mom,” Quinn Mulvey ’23 said. “But this was the first time I got to go on my own. It was the first time I got to feel that my actions were directly impacting policy around me.”