November 8, 2022, was the date to remember to cast your ballot for the consolidated general election. The general election is where the candidates who made it past the primary elections go in order for another round of elections that will determine the next officials.
As you can imagine, voting during the general elections is a crucial step in democracy.
During the primaries, the turnout in McFarland at the Church of the Living Savior where the polls are located had been somewhat disappointing as only a few people had gone to vote.
“Less than twenty people showed up to vote during the primary elections. I was really surprised because I was expecting way more people to go vote,” said Vivian Chavez-Trujillo, a McFarland poll worker.
In Kern County, there were a total of 164,814 voters during the elections in 2020 while there were 426,635 registered voters all over Kern County. The voter registration for the 2022 elections has been making a steady incline marking 9,231 in September as opposed to 8,322 in September 2020. Even so, in McFarland, only a few people showed up to place their ballots.
Regardless, this election period means a lot to everyone, first-time voters, long-time voters, and especially voters who have recently received their citizenship making them first-time voters this voting season.
“I’m choosing to vote because I feel very happy with being able to exercise my rights now that I am a citizen,” said Alejandra Molina.
Molina continued by saying, “Voting for me and my family is something important because we elect the people who are going to help contribute to our way of living in our state or city. I hope by voting that there’s democracy, and for an increase in the number of people who have the right to vote, to become active.”
The process of which one has to go through in order to receive citizenship can be strenuous. The process includes completing an examination, then having a ceremony for your naturalization before taking the oath to become a U.S citizen. The entire process in its whole takes around 24 months but can go for even longer.
For many, the ability to vote is an accomplishment to have to work towards rather than a right that is handed down to them.
“I’m very excited because it’s an accomplishment for me in my personal life. I’ve waited five years to be able to get my right to vote,” said Molina.
Voting in its entirety is a privilege many take for granted. Many assume that the matters shown on the ballot don’t place any importance in their lives, which is why many don’t place their votes. But, the truth of the matter is that voting is of great importance if you are a parent, a student in public education, or a woman worried about your reproductive rights then voting is the best thing you can do for your future.