Voting is the voice and the power of the people

Now that the election has concluded, change has been the reason many people in the country found this year’s election as an opportunity to reexamine themselves as voters and realize what they wanted to do with their vote.

Change has been the word floating around with eligible voters who either felt there must be a change in direction or if they did appreciate what was happening in their community then they wanted to act upon those issues. 

“[Voting] is the only way your voice can be heard,” Paul Gomez, a South El Monte resident said when he arrived in the morning to vote. If you dislike something, then this is your opportunity to do something about it. There are a lot of opposing opinions so either direction can be severely impacted.”  

2020 Election
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Voters at the polls. Photo credit: Robert Rios

The South El Monte Community Center, like many other voting locations, played host to a voting site with an in-person and vote drop off area. This was the first presidential election they were able to use the new electronic voting system. However, if voters should symptoms of COVID-19, they were asked to vote in a special area, this way the center could accommodate their situation and not turn them away. 

Like most voting locations, they are filled with volunteers who have been trained to help voter attendees. Yet they are there because they care about the election and the country. 

“It’s important to vote for leadership at the national and local level, Jose Martinez, a voting center volunteer and South El Monte resident. “But also it’s important to vote for the propositions too. They will help determine the way you live. If people don’t vote, then the politicians will think everything is okay.”

Voting in this election had many studying who and what measures were on the ballot. Daisy Perza, who works in education, arrived in the morning at the South El Monte voting center with her family, something they have grown accustomed to doing together. 

“This year especially there is a lot of measures that we have to vote for that I think will impact our community. So we really have to make sure that we know what we are voting for, Perza said. “Especially with the Presidential Election, I think there is a lot of animosities there and we wanna make sure we are voting for the correct president that is going to move us forward. A lot of us are not happy with who is there right now.”

2020 Presidential Election
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Voters stand in line on election day, Nov. 3, 2020. Photo credit: Robert Rios

For one voter, they have seen enough of the issues that have plagued the country since 2016 and were hoping to get a new president in this election.  

“For me the last for years we saw a rise in racial fighting with each other and we need someone that can help bring us together, Bolivar said. “I voted today for a new leader and hopefully they guide us to a better future.”

There has been an abundance of racial disparities against Latinos, Blacks/African Americans, and more recently Asians, due to the coronavirus pandemic. With this candidate being the victor, there must be a change in order for there to be some peace between the people. If not then there will be a continued dispersion amongst everyone for years to come.    

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