Some 18-year-olds at Marlborough voted for the first time in California Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall election on Sept. 14. Though Newsom would come out victorious, this election contested the fate of Democratic and Republican power in the US, so many of these first time voters were galvanized to vote and participate in related political events.
Emma ‘22 voted for the first time in this election after turning 18 in early September.
“Seeing as women’s rights have been stripped in states like Texas with the new abortion ban, participating in the recall election was really important to me,” Emma said. “I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that my rights and the rights of others would be protected by political institutions, not taken away.”
Dani ‘22 was motivated by fear of losing democratic power in the election. However, given her active passion in politics, she had mixed feelings about the recall being the first election she would vote in.
“Voting this year for the first time felt like a bit of a give-and-take,” Dani said. “It was great to be able to vote for the first time —it felt very much like completing a rite of passage—and to do so with my family, but it was also to defend a candidate I didn’t necessarily love, which was tough to do.”
The election reignited Dani’s interest in politics. After Brentwood’s “The Ballot Project” reached out to Dani to conduct a voter registration drive at Marlborough, Winkler took on a leadership position and registered numerous voters at Marlborough. She received help from Emma, Maisie ‘22, Beverly ‘22, Paige ‘22 and Lucy ‘22 to organize lunchtime pre-registrations on Sept. 9 and 10.
“I was so happy with our results [for the voter registration drive],” Dani said. “So many more people registered than I had originally expected, and we also got to have some great conversations with people about why pre-registration is important or who to contact if their ballots hadn’t arrived or had been filled out incorrectly.”
Wrubel helped organize the voter registration drive, and as a first time voter in Newsom’s recall, found the process of voting itself a significant moment that she seeks to share with others in years to come.
“It was really exciting because I feel like voting is a huge aspect of American citizenship,” Maisie said. “It is especially meaningful when you look at the struggles different groups have gone through to secure the vote, and I think my time voting has given me even more appreciation for my rights.”