First-time Voters Reflect On Election Day And Casting Their Ballots
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
This election season, there's been a huge push to get young people out to vote, which means many voters are casting ballots for the very first time. So we asked young voters who are participating in their first ever election to tell us about the experience.
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Among those we heard from - a 19-year-old Gillian Brosnan. Last night, she took an hour-and-a-half-long bus ride from her college in Portland, Maine, to her hometown of Lovell so she could vote first thing this morning.
GILLIAN BROSNAN: I just got out of the polls just now. I was the fourth person in my town to vote. I was too young to vote in the presidential election of 2016, and I didn't want to wait until 2020 to cast my vote and make a difference.
PRIYA TUMMALAPALLI: My name is Priya Tummalapalli. I'm 18 years old, and I voted in Memphis, Tenn. It's super nerdy, but I'm so excited to have voted.
BRANDON GIPKO: My name is Brandon Gipko (ph). I'm 18 years old, and I just got up, you know, did some homework and then went and voted (laughter).
TUMMALAPALLI: I don't think that youth are taken as serious, and I wanted to show that we do care about politics. And we want to be represented.
GIPKO: When I got in there and actually, like, held the ballot and, you know, actually checked the boxes, it definitely felt, like, a little more - it felt bigger than I thought it was going to feel.
ISABEL SCHAFFER: My name is Isabel Schaffer (ph). I'm 19 years old, and I voted in London, Ohio.
ZACH HART: My name is Zach Hart (ph). I'm 19, and I voted in Michigan.
SCHAFFER: I have a lot of friends here at school that influenced me to vote and to make sure that my opinion is heard.
HART: My friends and I talked about voting, so we kind of, like, pushed each other to get each other to vote. So I definitely felt great voting after.
TUMMALAPALLI: Oh, my gosh, it was the most exciting feeling. There was only, like, five people in the room, but I felt like I was on top of the world. And, like, every time I think about it, I get really giddy on the inside. It's just a feeling you can't describe.
SCHAFFER: It made me feel more mature and like I was taking my responsibility as an adult citizen more seriously.
TUMMALAPALLI: I'm so excited that I can begin to influence the politics in the country that I live in.
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