Why We Vote

Tufts undergraduates, some of whom are voting for the first time, talk about what brings them to the polls

Though political engagement among voters under 30 has waned since the 2008 election, you wouldn’t know it by the activity this fall at Tufts. Thanks to an undergraduate student-run organization championing the get-out-the-vote movement, some 1,000 new young voters registered, many of them first-time voters.

“Voting for the first time, it’s a great thing,” says Darien Headen, A15, from Philadelphia. “I have a say in this election. I can actually go into the polls and make a difference. It feels good.”

Caroline Kimball-Katz, A16, of Concord, Mass., says the “stark differences” between the two candidates for president has motivated her to vote. “People my age have the most at stake … in a presidential election especially.” She says she wants to be assured that the workforce she enters after graduation “is one shaped by the policies of a certain candidate.”

“I am really excited about casting my first vote,” adds Ali Rocchi, A14, of Fairfield, Conn. “It’s a big moment in my life and something I’ll remember forever.”

“I think it is important, because people fought and died for this cause to be able to vote, and I think that everyone should be voting,” says Yuri Chang, A13, of Northvale, N.J. “It is just part of being a citizen. Why not have a say in your government?”

Kaitlin Provencher can be reached at Kaitlin.provencher@tufts.edu. Steffan Hacker can be reached at steffan.hacker@tufts.edu. Alonso Nichols can be reached at alonso.nichols@tufts.edu.

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