Pride & Honor: First-Time Voters

by Nahomy Fleuzema

On Nov. 4th, Boyd Anderson arranged for 18 kids to go to the Lauderhill Mall voting site during early voting for the midterm election. I was one of those lucky teens who got the opportunity to go and cast my first vote.

Much was at stake, including Florida’s governor’s race.

i voted sticker lot
Photo by Element5 Digital on

When we arrived, we were greeted by a lady at the entrance who explained the rules and regulations of voting. She told us that it is our choice and that we had the right to vote for whomever and whatever we believed in. So we joined the line of voters and walked into the building. Our hearts were pounding – we were minutes away from influencing the political course of our state.

I walked up to the check-in table and was greeted by an older woman. She asked for my ID, and when she saw my age, she began ball-out crying. When I asked why she cried, she told me she was so proud of me, a girl who’d turned 18 not even a week before and was already exercising her right to vote. I felt honored by what she told me and thanked her. I picked up my ballot, walked toward the voting booth and began the ritual of filling in my preferences. The first choice my eyes rushed to was the name “Andrew Gillum.” The rest is history.

I approached the scanner, where ballots are inserted for tabulation, and cast my vote. Then I walked away with my head held high, knowing that, whatever the outcome, I’d made a mark on my country’s democracy that would count forever.