Yesterday was an exciting day for voters, and while we anxiously await the results, millions of Americans went to bed feeling accomplished in knowing that they did their part to advocate for their country.

For Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech student and Fun107 intern Sabrina Arruda, the 2020 election was her first experience voting, and I had the opportunity to chat with her about this monumental moment in her young adulthood.

Sabrina turned 18 just a week ago, and the first thing she did was register to vote. I was extremely impressed when she told Michael, Gazelle, and me about her birthday priorities. When I was 18, I was more concerned with what outfit to wear, so she’s certainly ahead of the curve when it comes to being involved.

When Sabrina was younger, she would accompany her mom at the polls and wonder what it would be like to cast her own ballot. I asked her what made her want to vote this year, and she simply said, “It’s my civic duty. Certain groups of people have had to fight for their right to vote and taking this opportunity for granted is not the way to go.”

She admitted she was nervous because she wasn’t sure what to expect. “It kind of felt like a standardized test,” she said.

I was nervous to vote this year as well, even though I knew what to expect. For me, voting is an emotional experience. I feel like my voice is being heard and my actions are supporting the common good of the community, but you can’t help but be nervous in anticipation of the results.

My first voting experience came when I was 21, and I wish I was able to start sooner. I was excited to hear Sabrina used her power to vote because I believe that her generation will have the drive to create change in this country.

“We are the ones that advocate for change,” she said. “We want that to happen and we want actual, systemic progression to happen.”

Sabrina was not alone at the polls yesterday. Check out these proud voters on the SouthCoast.

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