A Story of Two Voters


Moriah Abrams

Moriah and her dad on voting day
Senior Moriah Abrams and her father, Michael Abrams, had a special morning together at the polls. Photo by Jill Shapiro

In September, I turned 18. Along with the happy birthday wishes and presents, this day was significant because I was considered a legal adult. However, the privilege I was most excited about was the ability to vote.

I took a United States Government course last year and learned all about elections, politics, and how our government operates. This class taught me the importance of citizens voting for their elected officials. Many people around the world don’t have the chance to vote in their home country. I planned on taking full advantage of my privilege of voting for those who represent me in government.

A few weeks before the midterm election, I began researching about the candidates, judges, and amendments that would be on the ballot. I wanted to be informed and prepared for Election Day. The morning of 4 November 2014, I was ready. I woke up and was ecstatic at the thought of voting for the first time in a few hours. My dad and I drove to the polls together. I was by far one of the youngest at the polls that morning and people saw my excitement and anticipation and smiled at me. The poll worker looked at my ID and knew that I was a first time voter. She said to me “Well, this is an important day for you.” And she was right. It was the day when I first exercised my constitutional right. My voice was heard and my vote counted. I was an official member of American society.

I filled out my ballot and took a few pictures with my “I Voted” sticker. I headed back to school, but my excitement for Election Day was not over yet. My entire high school, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, traveled to Communities Creating Opportunities (CCO), a local community organization, where we called 900 people to encourage them to go out and vote. The senior class had the opportunity to help bring to the polls a small group of voters who had no other transportation.

Along with two other seniors, I helped take a blind man to vote at his polling location. The man was a regular voter and told us that in the past the poll location had set up a special machine to read the ballot aloud to him. When we approached the poll workers, they were not interested in setting up the special machine or perhaps didn’t know how. A fellow senior classmate and I helped this blind man vote by verbally reading him the ballot aloud and filling in the bubbles for him. I am angered that the polling location did not set up the special machine for him.  This man is entitled to his privacy when casting his votes just like I am. However, I was happy that I was able to help him vote and that he trusted me to vote on his behalf. I hope that in the next election there are machines available to help those vote who are disabled so they can have their privacy when casting their ballot.

I am proud of the work that the high school did at CCO. I believe it is important for all citizens to vote and for their opinions be heard. Although, this was just my first time voting, I can’t wait for the next election. I hope to continue to vote in every election and to encourage others around me to do so as well.