What It’s Like Being a First Time Voter in the 2020 Primaries


Morgan Fischer

Pete Buttigieg is one of the front-runners in the Democrat primaries.

On March 3rd, I will be voting for the first time ever in the presidential primaries. As a first time voter, I am very excited to be part of this very important part of being an American citizen. However, there are also many parts that I am nervous about.

Due to the massive amount of questions and elements to consider, the experience in choosing who I will be voting for in the primaries has been overwhelming. Not to mention, there are still so many candidates in the race on the Democratic side. At the beginning of the race, there were as many as 20 candidates competing for the 2020 Democratic nomination. And now, with Super Tuesday being just two weeks away, there are still eight candidates in the race.

Presidential Primaries have the possibility to have a huge impact upon the nature of our politics for years to come. For the Democrats, the nominee that voters elect will be going up against President Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election, who is a very controversial president who has a very devoted base of supporters. Naturally, questions of electability come into question for many voters when selecting who to vote for, while also trying to find a candidate who meets the many other policy plans that an individual voter may want. 

There are so many aspects that I have had to consider as a first time voter. There are issues that I care a lot about as a young person, such as climate change, student debt, and gun control. But there are also policy issues that I do not know a whole lot about, but will have a large effect upon me in the future, such as healthcare and taxes. Not to mention the looming question of electability, which many of the candidates I have been excited by, have had this concern over them. 

I have been following politics closely for years now as it has always been something that has interested me. Especially in 2018, with the midterm elections that year, I interviewed many students in my school about their opinions on issues that mattered to them and how they were making their own choices when it came to who to elect. But as a 17 year-old, I did have the power to vote. That same year, I interviewed the candidates in Virginia for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Tim Kaine and his opponent Corey Stewart. As I prepared to interview them, I went deep into researching issues that they campaigned upon, leading me to think about my own personal opinions on those issues.   

During this time of interviewing first time voters and the candidates running, it showed me how important voting was, and how power that decision held. 

Due to my experience in 2018, the excitement has been building for me until I can vote and potentially be a part of history. Yet, it is a very overwhelming process that leaves me with a lot of questions and a big decision to make. I will continue to read articles on the candidates, listen to podcasts, and watch debates to make my final decision. Likely, I will still be undecided until fairly close until the election. I also hope that my fellow first time voters will get out to the polls on March 3rd to voice their opinion, and while it is definitely overwhelming and maybe even scary, I believe that it is very important to have young people, such as myself, to get their voices out.