Between December 2019 and January 2020 (just weeks before the pandemic), Smithsonian staff and their storytelling partners at the Peale, Baltimore, traveled to multiple states in the U.S. to ask residents of those states about voting experiences, the current state of American democracy, what issues brought them to the polls, how they made a difference in their communities, and what Americans' civic responsibilities were, among other complex questions.
Alex (00:00): So, what democracy means to me is just having the ability to have a say in what goes on your community. And so I believe that it is always important to voice your own opinions. Whether or not someone listens, that's on them, that's no longer on you. But as long as you do your parts, you voice your concerns, then I believe that that is what democracy is. Now on the other half, the other person should listen. They might not change their mind, but that listening is still a part of the democracy as well.
(00:31): So I do believe that my vote matters, especially being within my age group. And so I think that young voters definitely have a higher chance of actually pushing through what they believe in, as long as they show up. And so, which can be hard for a lot of people to get out there, especially if they lack transportation. But you can always choose to just do a mail-in ballot, have the voting come to you, and then it's just as easy. You don't need to go anywhere.
Asset ID: 2022.34.16.a-b
Themes: Voting, Participation, Elections, Civic Duty
Date recorded: January 25, 2020
Length of recording: 0:00:59
Related traveling exhibition: Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Arizona Humanities
More information or related assets: https://azhumanities.org/smithsonian-exhibition-voices-and-votes-democracy-in-america/