Students should prioritize voting
In honor of National Voter Registration Day, which was Sept. 19, 2023, I would like to utilize this opportunity to strongly encourage and even implore you to vote. Why should you vote? You should vote because you can, because you care and because it creates change. Pirate Nation, please vote! As a nation within a city, the City of Greenville, it is important that students turn out to vote in this year’s local elections like never before! Imagine if half of our 27,000 students turned out to vote in this election. That would be close to 13,000 votes. We have the power to truly create lasting change!
You should vote because you can! Throughout history, multiple limitations have been placed upon humans around who is qualified to vote. These limitations were on the basis of age, socioeconomic status, gender and race. Until 1971, persons had to be at least 21 years of age to vote. On July 1,1971, the 26th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified which granted 18-year-olds the right to vote.
This Fall of 2023, I co-founded a new student organization called Student Advocacy Democracy Initiative (SADI) for the purpose of getting students more involved in our local elections and engaged with sustaining our democracy. I have been working to meet with every candidate running in the Greenville City Council election cycle this year. On Tuesday Sept. 19, 2023 on National Voter Registration Day, I was honored to speak at the Election Protection Press Conference organized by Democracy N.C., on Thursday I marched and spoke at the ECU National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Annual Unity March, on Friday I attended the N.C. Voter Summit at Elon University and on Saturday I served as co-moderator of a candidate listening forum to connect the community with the Greenville City Council. As students in the UNC System with 17 institutions and close to 250,000 students, our right to vote will be directly impacted even compounded at the intersection of race and socioeconomic status by the new photo identification requirement laws and other new election laws.