My 2020 Voting Story: Niles Francis
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My name is Niles Francis. I'm 18 years old. I turning 19 this week. I live in Cobb County with my grandmother and my sister. I also do even in my free time, I like to do a lot of like, you know, analyzing elections, like in new Georgia, we're shaping up to be a competitive States.
2020 is my first time voting. It was, I didn't expect my first time voting to be in the middle of a pandemic. And I don't think that there are many people who can say that their first election was in the middle of a pandemic. So I think that'll be a story to tell for a long time to come. I chose to vote absentee. I voted, I requested an absentee ballot and took it to one of the local Dropboxes here in Cobb County. It was at the South Cobb regional library on clay road. So voting was easy. It was like, you know, the ballot, I requested it in Sept in like August late August, early September and got it like mid September, late September. And we returned it like, you know, I think it was the first week of early voting that we returned it to the Dropbox. So voting was super easy.
Across the country, I've seen younger people become more engaged. Younger people have been energized to vote. Before all of this, younger people would say, Oh, what difference does it make? My vote doesn't matter. I feel like that. I feel like we're not hearing that this time around. And that's what makes me so hopeful. As I mentioned, all of these recent protests and police involved killings, I think that these events that actually done more to energize the younger people to vote and get them more engaged in the political process. Elected local prosecutors make these decisions. So I feel like, the more people realize that we have the power to elect these people. The more they'll become engaged in the process. So I'm very hopeful for the future. I do not think that this is going to stop after the election. I feel like the election is only the beginning of a very, very long road ahead. Like, you know, in terms of how people get involved in this process, it really just doesn't stop at one election. After the election, you have to keep holding your elected officials accountable. If you don't like what they're doing, call them, write the emails, hold town halls with your community. Right now we're living in the zoom era. So even if it is on zoom, like, you know, if you see something that you don't like organize a zoom call or something like that, but when things get back to normal, hopefully soon, when we can get back to gathering in person, like I'm hoping that more people will start becoming aware of like, like I said earlier, like who makes these decisions, as to who gets prosecuted when it comes to these various tragic police involved incidents. So like, if you don't like these decisions, like in a hold a town hall over it, organize old town halls, like, find a candidate to run against these prosecutors, if you don't like the decisions that they're making. So, it really just doesn't stop at one election. Like, we hear over and over again that this is the most important election of our lives. Like this time, it's the truth. Like, you know, I hate that I'm laughing about this, but people are literally dying. People are dying. So like, you know, lives are on the line here. Like, from the coronavirus to everything like lives are really on the line. So we hear every election is the most important one of our lives. It's really the truth this time. Because like I said, we have people dying. Like, we have all of these various police involved, tragically, involved incidents. We have riots in the streets.Protests.
Like I said, I haven't been around long, but I've never seen the country this divided before. And I'm hoping that after the election, people will come together and organize, hold rallies, town, halls, protests. If they see things, or if politicians do things that they don't like, I don't think it's just going to stop at this election. I'm hoping that like, you know, these conversations will continue to be had afterwards.
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