Voting is such an important aspect of our lives that all people should take advantage of, Cabrini graduate panelists agreed on the “Why I Vote” panel.
“When I’m voting, I’m voting for those who are impacted by climate change because I want to see resources and funding brought to communities. When you vote, you’re making your voice heard to the leaders about that change you want to see,” Alexis Cunningham, Cabrini class of 2016, said to start off the event.
The Wolfington Center and 2020 Student Voter Engagement team held a “Why I Vote” hybrid panel discussion to share information about voting and to motivate those who may be on the fence about participating themselves.
Chardanay White, Cabrini class of 2020, considers herself a lifelong voter and shared her experiences of going to help her mom vote when she was just a little girl.
White said there wasn’t always a time when black woman could vote and keeps that in mind every opportunity she gets to participate herself.
“I vote for people who look like me. I vote for people who don’t have the access to vote. I vote for people whose human rights and dignity is out into question each day by the Supreme Court, by the President, by the current administration,” White said.
When asked what are the misconceptions people have with young voters, White was first to jump in and thought it was because people think young voters don’t understand politics or aren’t interested.
“We don’t think our vote matters,” White said. “But every vote matters no matter if you think it does or it doesn’t, it does.”
Another panelist was Aide Cuenca-Narraez, Cabrini class of 2018, shared her own insights on the misconceptions when it comes to young people voting.
Cuenca-Narraez described how she thought voting wouldn’t change anything and that she was too young to have any kind of impact. She then realized the power she actually holds within her and that participating in politics is about having your voice heard.
Dr. Ray Ward, director of Wolfington Center and moderator, continued with the question of how to encourage those who are thinking about not voting and skipping this upcoming election.
“You’re not voting for yourself, you’re voting for the lives of so many other people, people who can’t vote and people that don’t have the opportunity,” White said.
She said even if you don’t 100 percent agree with the candidate, you should still vote for the one who lines up with your morals the most.
“Vote with your heart, but also vote with the mind for others who are less fortunate or don’t have the ability to,” White said.
Evarlyne Ndeti, an intern at the Wolfington Center, helped coordinate this experience. She said even though she is an international student and cannot vote herself but she still encourages everyone to “vote for the leader they are inspired by.”
Ndeti hopes all people will participate in the upcoming election because each person has an important role that should be played.