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First time voters share their experiences

Voting for the first time is a special experience.
With COVID-19 and the upcoming November election serving as hot topics on people’s minds, this is a unique year to be a first time voter. Early voting ran from Oct. 14-29, and Election Day will be Nov. 3.
To illustrate the experiences of some first time voters, the Elizabethton Star has asked three individuals to share theirs.
Taylor Hedges
Hedges was one of several first time voters to have his picture featured on the Carter County Election Commission’s Facebook page. He said the experience was enjoyable.
“It was pretty fun since I was voting with my family,” he said, “although some people weren’t wearing masks and were still allowed into the voting room, which of course worried me a bit. Overall, it was a very good experience that made me feel as though I’ve done something important and constructive on these days of quarantine and laze.”
Hedges said he imagined helpful workers and people happy to get out and vote. His reality matched this expectation.
“A polite lady even taught me how to use the voting booth,” he exclaimed.
Hedges concluded in why he believes it’s important to cast your vote.
“During times like these, it’s important to make your voice heard and give support to the candidate you’d want to be in office to shape America’s future,” he said. “I often hear people say that it’s pointless to vote because the election is rigged. If that statement were true, then shouldn’t it strengthen your will to vote?”
Carson Stresemann
Like Hedges, Stresemann said his experience was positive and lived up to his expectations.
“I feel like it really makes you feel important especially with this election coming up,” he explained. “Honestly, it was exactly how I expected it would go. Because it was a really quick and easy process and everyone was there to help as I expected.”
Stresemann concluded by explaining that it is important to vote to voice concerns.
“If you don’t vote then you have no right to voice your opinion when things aren’t going right in the country,” he said.
Casey Wiggins
Wiggins had a positive experience like Hedges and Stresemann, but was glad his expectations were wrong.
“I definitely expected a long line, but like I said we got there early, so we didn’t have to worry about that,” he said. “I also expected it to be a much more complicated process, but once they explained it, it just made sense, and I got in and out in about five to 10 minutes.”
Wiggins said he plans to continue casting his vote in the future and concluded by speaking on his thoughts regarding the importance of voting.
“I definitely think it’s important for people to get out and vote,” he said. “It’s how we have our voices heard as American citizens and how we influence policy and how we influence the country, even the world. So yeah, I think it’s extremely important for us to vote.”
Voting on Election Day (Nov. 3) takes place at designated polling locations throughout the area. To find out about designated polling locations, visit www.govotetn.gov or contact the Election Commission Office at 423-542-1823.